Microwave tumor ablation: mechanism of action, clinical results, and devices

J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2010 Aug;21(8 Suppl):S192-203. doi: 10.1016/j.jvir.2010.04.007.


Microwave ablation uses dielectric hysteresis to produce direct volume heating of tissue. Microwaves are capable of propagating through many tissue types, even those with high impedance such as lung or bone, with less susceptibility to "heat-sink" effects along vessels. Microwaves are highly conducive to the use of multiple applicators, showing the synergy seen with other energies, but also the potential capability for phasing of the electromagnetic field. As a result, larger, more customizable ablation zones may be created in less time. Although multiple microwave ablation systems are currently available, further study and continued development are needed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Catheter Ablation / adverse effects
  • Catheter Ablation / instrumentation
  • Catheter Ablation / methods*
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Microwaves / therapeutic use*
  • Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Radiography
  • Treatment Outcome