Temperature monitoring during radiofrequency ablation of liver: in vivo trials.

Saccomandi P, Frauenfelder G, Massaroni C et al.

Conference proceedings : … Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Annual Conference. Aug 2016.

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat tumors by means of hyperthermia, mostly through percutaneous approach. The tissue temperature plays a pivotal role in the achievement of the target volume heating, while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue from thermal damage. Several techniques for thermometry during RFA are investigated, most of them based on the use of single-point measurement system (e.g., thermocouples). The measurement of temperature map is crucial for the real-time control and fine adjustment of the treatment settings, to optimize the shape and size of the ablated volume. The recent interest about fiber optic sensors and, among them, fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) for the monitoring of thermal effects motivated further investigation. In particular, the feature of FBGs to form an array of several elements, thus to be inscribed within the same fiber, allows the use of a single probe for the multi-points monitoring of the tissue temperature during RFA. Hence, the aim of this study is the development and characterization of a needle-like probe embedding an array of three FBGs, which was tested on pig liver during in vivo trials. The needle allows a safe and easy insertion of the fiber optic within the liver. It was inserted by ultrasound guidance into the liver, and monitored the change of tissue temperature during RFA controlled by the roll-off technique. Also the measurement error induced by breathing movements of the liver was assessed (less than 3 °C). Results encourage the use of the probe in clinical settings, as well as the improvement of some features, e.g., a higher number of FBGs for performing quasi-distributed measurement.


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