Validation of a mathematical model for laser-induced thermotherapy in liver tissue
The purpose of the study was to develop a simulation approach for laser-induced thermotherapy (LITT) that is based on mathematical models for radiation transport, heat transport, and tissue damage. The LITT ablation was applied to ex vivo pig liver tissue. Experiments were repeated with different laser powers, i.e., 22-34 W, and flow rates of the cooling water in the applicator system, i.e., 47-92 ml/min. During the procedure, the temperature was measured in the liver sample at different distances to the applicator as well as in the cooling circuit using a fiber optic thermometer. For validation, the simulation results were compared with the results of the laser ablation experiments in the ex vivo pig liver samples. The simulated and measured temperature curves presented a relatively good agreement. The Bland-Altman plot showed an average of temperature differences of -0.13 ∘C and 95%-limits-of-agreement of ±7.11 ∘C. The standard deviation amounted to ±3.63 ∘C. The accuracy of the developed simulation is comparable with the accuracy of the MR thermometry reported in other clinical studies. The simulation showed a significant potential for the application in treatment planning.