MRI-guided interstitial ultrasound thermal therapy of the prostate: a feasibility study in the canine model.

Thermal Therapy Research Group, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California, SF, San Francisco, California 94115, USA.
Medical Physics (Impact Factor: 3.01). 03/2005; 32(3):733-43. DOI: 10.1118/1.1861163
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The feasibility of MRI-guided interstitial ultrasound thermal therapy of the prostate was evaluated in an in vivo canine prostate model. MRI compatible, multielement interstitial ultrasound applicators were developed using 1.5 mm diameter cylindrical piezoceramic transducers (7 to 8 MHz) sectored to provide 180 degrees of angular directional heating. Two in vivo experiments were performed in canine prostate. The first using two interstitial ultrasound applicators, the second using three ultrasound applicators in conjunction with rectal and urethral cooling. In both experiments, the applicators were inserted transperineally into the prostate with the energy directed ventrally, away from the rectum. Electrical power levels of 5-17 W per element (approximately 1.6-5.4 W acoustic output power) were applied for heating periods of 18 and 48 min. Phase-sensitive gradient-echo MR imaging was used to monitor the thermal treatment in real-time on a 0.5 T interventional MRI system. Contrast-enhanced T1-weighted images and vital-stained serial tissue sections were obtained to assess thermal damage and correlate to real-time thermal contour plots and calculated thermal doses. Results from these studies indicated a large volume of ablated (nonstained) tissue within the prostate, extending 1.2 to 2.0 cm from the applicators to the periphery of the gland, with the dorsal margin of coagulation well-defined by the applicator placement and directionality. The shape of the lesions correlated well to the hypointense regions visible in the contrast-enhanced T1-weighted images, and were also in good agreement with the contours of the 52 degrees C threshold temperature and t43 > 240 min. This study demonstrates the feasibility of using directional interstitial ultrasound in conjunction with MRI thermal imaging to monitor and possibly control thermal coagulation within a targeted tissue volume while potentially protecting surrounding tissue, such as rectum, from thermal damage.

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