Purpose: To demonstrate in vivo MR-guided temperature mapping during radiofrequency (RF) ablation of the liver with a commercially available RF generator modified to allow simultaneous RF treatment and MRI.
Materials and methods: A commercial RF generator was modified using passive filtering to allow the continuous application of the treatment current during MRI studies. A total of six ablations were performed with the device in vivo in three porcine livers, and imaging was concurrently performed using one of two different temperature mapping strategies.
Results: MR images acquired during RF ablation demonstrated no noticeable interference from the RF ablation device, which was operated at clinically relevant power levels. Temperature maps showed areas of heating that were consistent with the dimensions of the RF ablation probe, with some asymmetry (likely depending on the orientation of the probe and heat propagation effects), and some differences in heating-spot area stability depending on the specific temperature mapping strategy used. Lesions were visualized on post-ablation imaging and sectioning.
Conclusion: The feasibility of performing RF ablation with a modified commercial RF generator simultaneously with MRI was demonstrated. Interference-free MR temperature maps were produced with both variable respiratory motion and mechanical ventilation, and showed the extent of heating as the ablation progressed.
2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.