Clinical outcome of hyperthermia depends on the achieved target temperature, therefore target conformal heating is essential. Currently, invasive temperature probe measurements are the gold standard for temperature monitoring, however, they only provide limited sparse data. In contrast, magnetic resonance thermometry (MRT) provides unique capabilities to non-invasively measure the 3D-temperature. This study investigates MRT accuracy for MR-hyperthermia hybrid systems located at five European institutions while heating a centric or eccentric target in anthropomorphic phantoms with pelvic and spine structures. Scatter plots, root mean square error (RMSE) and Bland-Altman analysis were used to quantify accuracy of MRT compared to high resistance thermistor probe measurements. For all institutions, a linear relation between MRT and thermistor probes measurements was found with R2 (mean ± standard deviation) of 0.97 ± 0.03 and 0.97 ± 0.02, respectively for centric and eccentric heating targets. The RMSE was found to be 0.52 ± 0.31 °C and 0.30 ± 0.20 °C, respectively. The Bland-Altman evaluation showed a mean difference of 0.46 ± 0.20 °C and 0.13 ± 0.08 °C, respectively. This first multi-institutional evaluation of MR-hyperthermia hybrid systems indicates comparable device performance and good agreement between MRT and thermistor probes measurements. This forms the basis to standardize treatments in multi-institution studies of MR-guided hyperthermia and to elucidate thermal dose-effect relations.
Keywords: anthropomorphic phantom; magnetic resonance imaging-guided hyperthermia; magnetic resonance thermometry; quality assurance; radiofrequency hyperthermia; thermistor probe.