Antenna Design and Tissue Parameters Considerations for Improved Modelling of Microwave Ablation in the Liver

Andreas Karampatzakis, Sven Kühn, George Tsanidis, Esra Neufeld, Theodoros Samaras, and Niels Kuster, Physics in Medicine and Biology, Volume 58, Issue 10, pp. 3191–3206, May 2013, online April 19, 2013

Microwave ablation (MWA) is a novel, minimally invasive, thermal-based technique used to treat hepatocellular carcinoma. In this study, we developed clinically relevant numerical models with the aim to quantify the characteristics (dimensions and shape) of the ablation zones to aid patient-specific pre-treatment planning. Coaxial antennas of different designs (single- vs. double-slot and various slot-to-tip distances and slot sizes) were modelled, and performance was compared. Regarding modelling the tissue, it was shown that the perfusion rate (which is different for each clinical case) determines the behaviour of the ablation zone: correct evaluation of the perfusion is of crucial importance for estimating the extent of heating. As a step to close the gap between experimental and theoretical studies, we showed that underestimation of dimensions is expected when higher perfusion rates (e.g., in healthy rather than malignant liver) are considered.

The scientific impact of this study can be summarized as:

  • Assessment of the efficiency of various MWA catheter types.
  • Quantification and prediction of the impact of perfusion in realistic clinical cases.
  • Determination of optimal ablation strategies with respect to catheter type, power, and time in clinically relevant cases.
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