European Radiology

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 2698–2705 | Cite as

Volumetric 3D assessment of ablation zones after thermal ablation of colorectal liver metastases to improve prediction of local tumor progression

  • Elena A. KayeEmail author
  • Francois H. Cornelis
  • Elena N. Petre
  • Neelam Tyagi
  • Waleed Shady
  • Weiji Shi
  • Zhigang Zhang
  • Stephen B. Solomon
  • Constantinos T. Sofocleous
  • Jeremy C. Durack



The goal of this study was to develop and evaluate a volumetric three-dimensional (3D) approach to improve the accuracy of ablation margin assessment following thermal ablation of hepatic tumors.


The 3D margin assessment technique was developed to generate the new 3D assessment metrics: volumes of insufficient coverage (VICs) measuring volume of tissue at risk post-ablation. VICs were computed for the tumor and tumor plus theoretical 5- and 10-mm margins. The diagnostic accuracy of the 3D assessment to predict 2-year local tumor progression (LTP) was compared to that of manual 2D assessment using retrospective analysis of a patient cohort that has previously been reported as a part of an outcome-centered study. Eighty-six consecutive patients with 108 colorectal cancer liver metastases treated with radiofrequency ablation (2002–2012) were used for evaluation. The 2-year LTP discrimination power was assessed using receiver operating characteristic area under the curve (AUC) analysis.


A 3D assessment of margins was successfully completed for 93 out of 108 tumors. The minimum margin size measured using the 3D method had higher discrimination power compared with the 2D method, with an AUC value of 0.893 vs. 0.790 (p = 0.01). The new 5-mm VIC metric had the highest 2-year LTP discrimination power with an AUC value of 0.923 (p = 0.004).


Volumetric semi-automated 3D assessment of the ablation zone in the liver is feasible and can improve accuracy of 2-year LTP prediction following thermal ablation of hepatic tumors.

Key Points

• More accurate prediction of local tumor progression risk using volumetric 3D ablation zone assessment can help improve the efficacy of image-guided percutaneous thermal ablation of hepatic tumors.

• The accuracy of evaluation of ablation zone margins after thermal ablation of colorectal liver metastases can be improved using a volumetric 3D semi-automated assessment approach and the volume of insufficient coverage assessment metric.

• The new 5-mm volume-of-insufficient-coverage metric, indicating the volume of tumor plus 5-mm margin that remained untreated, had the highest 2-year local tumor progression discrimination power.


Neoplasm metastasis Minimally invasive surgical procedures Image processing, computer-assisted 



Local tumor progression






Area under the curve


Ablation zone


Colorectal cancer liver metastases


Computed tomography


Radiofrequency ablation


Volume of insufficient coverage



We thank James Keller for his help with editing and preparing this manuscript.

Preliminary results were presented as an abstract during the RSNA 2017.


This research project was supported by an internal Department of Radiology seed grant and in part by the NIH/NCI Cancer Center Support Grant P30 CA008748.

Compliance with ethical standards


The scientific guarantor of this publication is Dr. Elena Kaye.

Conflict of interest

The authors of this manuscript declare relationships with the following companies.

C. T. Sofocleous has received research support from BTG, Ethicon (Neuwave); HS Medical, Angiodynamics; Sota Medical; and is a consultant for Ethicon and GE.

S. B. Solomon is a shareholder of Johnson & Johnson, Adgero, Immunomedics, Aspire Bariatrics, and Progenics; has received personal fees from Medtronics, BTG, Astra Zeneca, and Johnson & Johnson; and has a research grant from GE Heathcare.

J. Durack is an investor in and is on scientific advisory board of Adient Medical.

E. Kaye received consulting fees from Galil Medical.

The remaining authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies, whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article.

Statistics and biometry

Weiji Shi, PhD and Zhigang Zhang, PhD kindly provided statistical advice for this manuscript.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was waived by the Institutional Review Board.

Ethical approval

Institutional Review Board approval was obtained.

Study subjects or cohorts overlap

Some study subjects or cohorts have been previously reported in:

1. Shady W, Petre EN, Gonen M, et al Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of colorectal cancer liver metastases: factors affecting outcomes—a 10-year experience at a single center. Radiology. 2015;278:601–11.

2. Wang X, Sofocleous CT, Erinjeri JP, et al Margin size is an independent predictor of local tumor progression after ablation of colon cancer liver metastases. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 2013;36(1):166–175.

3. Sofocleous CT, Garg S, Petrovic LM, et al Ki-67 is a prognostic biomarker of survival after radiofrequency ablation of liver malignancies. Ann Surg Oncol 2012;19(13):4262–4269.

4. Sofocleous CT, Petre EN, Gonen M, et al CT-guided radiofrequency ablation as a salvage treatment of colorectal cancer hepatic metastases developing after hepatectomy. J Vasc Interv Radiol 2011;22(6):755–761.


• Retrospective

• Diagnostic or prognostic study

• Performed at one institution

Supplementary material

330_2018_5809_MOESM1_ESM.docx (6.4 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 6556 kb)


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena A. Kaye
    • 1
    Email author
  • Francois H. Cornelis
    • 2
    • 3
  • Elena N. Petre
    • 2
  • Neelam Tyagi
    • 1
  • Waleed Shady
    • 2
    • 4
  • Weiji Shi
    • 5
  • Zhigang Zhang
    • 5
  • Stephen B. Solomon
    • 2
  • Constantinos T. Sofocleous
    • 2
  • Jeremy C. Durack
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medical PhysicsMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Section of Interventional Radiology, Department of RadiologyMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Radiology, Sorbonne Université -ISCD / APHP – HUEPTenon HospitalParisFrance
  4. 4.Department of RadiologyMallinckrodt Institute of RadiologySt. LouisUSA
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA

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