Interactive multi-criteria planning for radiofrequency ablation

  • Christian SchumannEmail author
  • Christian Rieder
  • Sabrina Haase
  • Katrin Teichert
  • Philipp Süss
  • Peter Isfort
  • Philipp Bruners
  • Tobias Preusser
Original Article



Image-guided radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a broadly used minimally invasive method for the thermal destruction of focal liver malignancies using needle-shaped instruments. The established planning workflow is based on examination of 2D slices and manual definition of the access path. During that process, multiple criteria for all possible trajectories have to be taken into account. Hence, it demands considerable experience and constitutes a significant mental task.


An access path determination method based on image processing and numerical optimization is proposed. Fast GPU-based simulation approximation is utilized to incorporate the heat distribution including realistic cooling effects from nearby blood vessels. A user interface for intuitive exploration of the optimization results is introduced.


The proposed methods are integrated into a clinical software assistant. To evaluate the suitability of the interactive optimization approach for the identification of meaningful therapy strategies, a retrospective study has been carried out. The system is able to propose clinically relevant trajectories to the target by incorporating multiple criteria.


A novel method for planning of image-guided radiofrequency ablation by means of interactive access path determination based on optimization is presented. A first retrospective study indicates that the method is suited to improve the classical planning of RFA.


Radiofrequency ablation Therapy planning Optimization 


Conflict of interest


Ethical standard For this type of study formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© CARS 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Schumann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christian Rieder
    • 1
  • Sabrina Haase
    • 1
  • Katrin Teichert
    • 3
  • Philipp Süss
    • 3
  • Peter Isfort
    • 4
  • Philipp Bruners
    • 4
  • Tobias Preusser
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Fraunhofer MEVISFraunhofer-GesellschaftBremenGermany
  2. 2.Jacobs UniversityBremenGermany
  3. 3.Fraunhofer ITWMFraunhofer-GesellschaftKaiserslauternGermany
  4. 4.Diagnostic and Interventional RadiologyRWTH Aachen University HospitalAachenGermany

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