Real-time MR thermometry for monitoring HIFU ablations of the liver

Magn Reson Med. 2010 Feb;63(2):365-73. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22206.


A high-resolution and high-speed pulse sequence is presented for monitoring high-intensity focused ultrasound ablations in the liver in the presence of motion. The sequence utilizes polynomial-order phase saturation bands to perform outer volume suppression, followed by spatial-spectral excitation and three readout segmented echo-planar imaging interleaves. Images are processed with referenceless thermometry to create temperature-rise images every frame. The sequence and reconstruction were implemented in RTHawk and used to image stationary and moving sonications in a polyacrylamide gel phantom (62.4 acoustic W, 50 sec, 550 kHz). Temperature-rise images were compared between moving and stationary experiments. Heating spots and corresponding temperature-rise plots matched very well. The stationary sonication had a temperature standard deviation of 0.15 degrees C compared to values of 0.28 degrees C and 0.43 degrees C measured for two manually moved sonications at different velocities. Moving the phantom (while not heating) with respect to the transducer did not cause false temperature rises, despite susceptibility changes. The system was tested on nonheated livers of five normal volunteers. The mean temperature rise was -0.05 degrees C, with a standard deviation of 1.48 degrees C. This standard deviation is acceptable for monitoring high-intensity focused ultrasound ablations, suggesting real-time imaging of moving high-intensity focused ultrasound sonications can be clinically possible.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Body Temperature / physiology*
  • Body Temperature / radiation effects
  • Computer Systems
  • High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Liver / physiology*
  • Liver / radiation effects
  • Liver / surgery*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Thermography / methods*