Interstitial laser thermotherapy: Comparison between bare fibre and sapphire probe
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A sapphire probe and a bare fibre were compared with respect to temperature control and distribution and light fluence in interstitial laser thermotherapy. Experiments were performed in processed liver using an Nd-YAG laser and output power levels of 1–4 W. The temperature was controlled at a distance of 10 mm using a feedback circuit with an automatic thermometry system and thermistor probes. With the sapphire probe, carbonization was rare at power levels of 1–2 W but was observed in half of the experiments at 3 W and in all experiments at 4 W. Using the bare fibre, carbonization was seen in almost all experiments. Absence of carbonization was associated with a moderate decrease in the penetration of light and excellent control of the temperature, whereas carbonization led to rapid impairment of light penetration and temperature control. In addition, the temperature gradient was smaller with the sapphire probe than with the bare fibre or when carbonization was absent. It is concluded that a diffuser tip, such as the sapphire probe, may be preferable to the bare fibre for interstitial laser thermotherapy because it gives a smaller temperature gradient and helps to avoid carbonization which results in preserved light penetration and improved temperature control.
Key wordsNd-YAG laser Hyperthermia Light penetration Temperature distribution Feedback control
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