Prolonged heating in nontargeted tissue during MR-guided focused ultrasound of bone tumors

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2019 Nov;50(5):1526-1533. doi: 10.1002/jmri.26726. Epub 2019 Apr 5.


Background: Thermal dosimetry during MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) of bone tumors underpredicts ablation zone. Intraprocedural understanding of heat accumulation near bone is needed to prevent undesired treatment of nontargeted tissue.

Hypothesis: Temperature decay rates predict prolonged, spatially varying heating during MRgFUS bone treatments.

Study type: Prospective case series.

Patients: Nine patients with localized painful bone tumors (five bone metastasis, four osteoid osteomas), were compared with five patients with uterine fibroid tumors treated using MRgFUS.

Field strength/sequence: Proton resonance frequency shift thermometry using 2D-GRE with echo-planar imaging at 3 T.

Assessment: Tissue response was derived by fitting data from extended thermometry acquisitions to a decay model. Decay rates and time to peak temperature (TTP) were analyzed in segmented zones between the bone target and skin. Decay rates were used to calculate intersonication cooling times required to return to body temperature; these were compared against conventional system-mandated cooling times.

Statistical tests: Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests for normality, and Student's t-test was used to compare decay rates. Spatial TTP delay and predicted cooling times used Wilcoxon signed rank tests. P < 0.05 was significant.

Results: Tissue decay rates in bone tumor patients were 3.5 times slower than those in patients with fibroids (τbone = 0.037 ± 0.012 vs. τfibroid = 0.131 ± 0.010, P < 0.05). Spatial analysis showed slow decay rates effecting baseline temperature as far as 12 mm away from the bone surface, τ4 = 0.015 ± 0.026 (median ± interquartile range [IQR]). Tissue within 9 mm of bone experienced delayed TTP (P < 0.01). In the majority of bone tumor treatments, system-predicted intersonication cooling times were insufficient for nearby tissue to return to body temperature (P = 0.03 in zone 4).

Data conclusion: MRgFUS near bone is susceptible to long tissue decay rates, and unwanted cumulative heating up to 1.2 cm from the surface of the bone. Knowledge of decay rates may be used to alter treatment planning and intraprocedural thermal monitoring protocols to account for prolonged heating by bone.

Level of evidence: 4 Technical Efficacy: Stage 4 J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2019;50:1526-1533.

Keywords: MR guided focused ultrasound; MR-HIFU; ablation; bone tumor; temperature response; tissue decay.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Bone Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Leiomyoma
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Osteoma, Osteoid / diagnostic imaging*
  • Osteoma, Osteoid / therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Thermometry
  • Ultrasonic Therapy
  • Uterine Neoplasms
  • Young Adult