Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) is a novel non-invasive ablation technique that uses focused sound energy to destroy focal tumors, primarily via heat deposition. It is widely used for palliation of pain from bone metastases and has also recently gained popularity as a technique for ablation of benign bone tumors and facet degenerative joint disease (rhizotomy). Clinically, in a subset of patients who have undergone MRgFUS of bone, a variety of treatment responses have been noted on follow-up imaging, including focal sclerosis within the target lesion or more exuberant proliferative changes associated with the periosteum. In this study, high resolution peripheral quantitative CT (HR-pQCT) was used to evaluate remodeling of bone following ablation in a swine model of MRgFUS and compared to samples from a control, non-treated femur. Within each treated femur, two lesions were created: a higher energy focused ultrasound dose was used for one lesion compared to a lower energy dose for the second lesion. Exuberant, extra-cortical bone formation was detected at the higher energy ablation zones, with volumes ranging from 340 mm3 to 1040 mm3. More subtle endosteal and cortical changes were detected in the lower energy ablation zones, however cortical thickness was significantly increased at these sites compared to control bone. For both high and low energy lesions, lower bone mineral density and tissue mineral density was noted in treated regions compared to control regions, consistent with the formation of newly mineralized tissue. Following HR-pQCT analysis, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was subsequently used to detect biochemical changes associated with remodeling of bone following MRgFUS, and compared to samples from the control, non-treated femur. Findings were compared with histopathologic examination following hematoxylin-eosin staining. FTIR analysis demonstrated lower mineral/phosphate ratio and increased crystallinity compared to the control samples (p = 0.013). Histopathologic review demonstrated associated areas of endosteal inflammation, scarring, fat necrosis, and new extra-cortical bone formation associated with the ablations. Overall, these findings provide novel characterization of new bone formation following MRgFUS ablation.
Keywords: Ablation; Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR); High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU); High resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography; Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS).
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