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Influence of intrahepatic vessels on volume and shape of percutaneous laser ablation zones

In-vivo evaluation in a porcine model
: Frericks, B.B.; Ritz, J.P.; Albrecht, T.; Valdeig, S.; Schenk, A.; Wolf, K.-J.; Lehmann, K.


Investigative radiology 43 (2008), Nr.4, S.211-218
ISSN: 0020-9996
Fraunhofer MEVIS ()

Objectives: Aim of the study was to evaluate the precise influence of different intrahepatic vessels, vessel sizes, and distances from the applicator on volume and shape of hepatic laser ablation zones in an in vivo porcine model.
Materials and Methods: The study was approved by the institutional animal care and use committee. Eighteen computed tomography-guided Nd:YAG laser ablations were performed in the livers of 10 pigs at varying distances from hepatic veins and portal fields. After hepatectomy the livers were cut into 2-mm slices perpendicular to the laser applicator axes. For each ablation zone the maximum achievable (ideal) volume, the segmented (real) volume, the maximum radius, and the radius at the position of adjacent hepatic vessels were determined. The shapes of the ablation zones were evaluated qualitatively. Comparative statistics using the unpaired t test and a multiple linear regression analysis were performed.
Results: Ideal and real ablation zone volumes differed by 27.3% (8.6 ± 1.5 mL vs. 6.4 ± 1.1 mL; P < 0.0001). Thirty-eight of 60 (63%) hepatic veins versus 28 of 31 (90%) portal veins within the central slices of the 18 ablation zones led to a reduction of the ablation zone's radius, depending on the distance between the vessel and the applicator and the vessel type. Portal fields revealed stronger effects than hepatic veins. The vessel diameter showed no independent effect (P > 0.05). When influencing, all hepatic veins showed a focal indentation whereas portal fields always showed broad flattening of the ablation zone.
Conclusions: Portal fields lead to more heat sink than hepatic veins. The effects decreased with the distance between vessel and applicator tip, but less so for portal fields. The 2 vessel types induced considerably different shape alterations of the ablation zones. These results were not dependent on vessel size. This should be considered in the planning of thermal tumor ablations.