Use of Semiflexible Applicators for Radiofrequency Ablation of Liver Tumors
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To evaluate the feasibility and potential advantages of the radiofrequency ablation of liver tumors using new MRI-compatible semiflexible applicators in a closed-bore high-field MRI scanner.
We treated 8 patients with 12 malignant liver tumors of different origin (5 colorectal carcinoma, 2 cholangiocellular carcinoma, 1 breast cancer) under MRI guidance. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) was performed using 5 cm Rita Starburst Semi-Flex applicators (Rita Medical Systems, Milwaukee, WI, USA) which are suitable for MR- and CT-guided interventions and a 150 W RF generator. All interventions were performed in a closed-bore 1.5 T high-field MRI scanner for MRI-guided RFA using fast T1-weighted gradient echo sequences and T2-weighted ultra-turbo spin echo sequences. Control and follow-up MRI examinations were performed on the next day, at 6 weeks, and every 3 months after RFA. Control MRI were performed as double-contrast MRI examinations (enhancement with iron oxide and gadopentetate dimeglumine). All interventions were performed with the patient under local anesthesia and analgo-sedation.
The mean diameter of the treated hepatic tumors was 2.4 cm (±0.6 cm, range 1.0–3.2 cm). The mean diameter of induced necrosis was 3.1 cm (±0.4 cm). We achieved complete ablation in all patients. Follow-up examinations over a duration of 7 months (±1.3 months, range 4–9 month) showed a local control rate of 100% in this group of patients. All interventions were performed without major complications; only 2 subcapsular hematomas were documented.
RFA of liver tumors using semiflexible applicators in closed-bore 1.5 T scanner systems is feasible. These applicators might simplify the RFA of liver tumors under MRI control. The stiff distal part of the applicator facilitates its repositioning.
KeywordsIntervention Liver Metastasis MRI Radiofrequency ablation
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