Cryosurgery has been shown to be an effective therapy for prostate cancer. Temperature monitoring throughout the cryosurgical iceball could dramatically improve efficacy, since end temperatures of at least -40 degrees C are required. The results of this study indicate that MR thermometry based on tissue R(*)(2) has the potential to provide this information. Frozen tissue appears as a complete signal void on conventional MRI. Ultrashort echo times (TEs), achievable with half pulse excitation and a short spiral readout, allow frozen tissue to be imaged and MR characteristics to be measured. However, half pulse excitation is highly sensitive to eddy current distortions of the slice-select gradient. In this work, the effects of eddy currents on the half pulse technique are characterized and methods to overcome these effects are developed. The methods include: 1) eddy current compensated slice-select gradients, and 2) a correction for the phase shift between the first and second half excitations at the center of the slice. The effectiveness of these methods is demonstrated in R(*)(2) maps calculated within the frozen region during cryoablation.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.