High-fidelity Computer Models for Prospective Treatment Planning of Radiofrequency Ablation with In Vitro Experimental Correlation

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Abstract

PURPOSE:

To evaluate the accuracy of computer simulation in predicting the thermal damage region produced by a radiofrequency (RF) ablation procedure in an in vitro perfused bovine liver model. The thermal dose end point in the liver model is used to assess quantitatively computer prediction for use in prospective treatment planning of RF ablation procedures.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Geometric details of the tri-cooled tip electrode were modeled. The resistive heating of a pulsed voltage delivery was simulated in four dimensions using finite element models (FEM) implemented on high-performance parallel computing architectures. A range of physically realistic blood perfusion parameters, 3.6-53.6 kg/sec/m3, was considered in the computer model. An Arrhenius damage model was used to predict the thermal dose. Dice similarity coefficients (DSC) were the metric of comparison between computational predictions and T1-weighted contrast-enhanced images of the damage obtained from a RF procedure performed on an in vitro perfused bovine liver model.

RESULTS:

For a perfusion parameter greater than 16.3 kg/sec/m3, simulations predict the temporal evolution of the damaged volume is perfusion limited and will reach a maximum value. Over a range of physically meaningful perfusion values, 16.3-33.1 kg/sec/m3, the predicted thermal dose reaches the maximum damage volume within 2 minutes of the delivery and is in good agreement (DSC > 0.7) with experimental measurements obtained from the perfused liver model.

CONCLUSIONS:

As measured by the computed volumetric DSC, computer prediction accuracy of the thermal dose shows good correlation with ablation lesions measured in vitro in perfused bovine liver models over a range of physically realistic perfusion values.

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