Dielectric properties of human normal, malignant and cirrhotic liver tissue: In vivo and ex vivo measurements from 0.5 to 20 GHz using a precision open-ended coaxial probe

Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Physics in Medicine and Biology (Impact Factor: 2.76). 09/2007; 52(15):4707-19. DOI: 10.1088/0031-9155/52/15/022
Source: PubMed


Hepatic malignancies have historically been treated with surgical resection. Due to the shortcomings of this technique, there is interest in other, less invasive, treatment modalities, such as microwave hepatic ablation. Crucial to the development of this technique is the accurate knowledge of the dielectric properties of human liver tissue at microwave frequencies. To this end, we characterized the dielectric properties of in vivo and ex vivo normal, malignant and cirrhotic human liver tissues from 0.5 to 20 GHz. Analysis of our data at 915 MHz and 2.45 GHz indicates that the dielectric properties of ex vivo malignant liver tissue are 19 to 30% higher than normal tissue. The differences in the dielectric properties of in vivo malignant and normal liver tissue are not statistically significant (with the exception of effective conductivity at 915 MHz, where malignant tissue properties are 16% higher than normal). Also, the dielectric properties of in vivo normal liver tissue at 915 MHz and 2.45 GHz are 16 to 43% higher than ex vivo. No statistically significant differences were found between the dielectric properties of in vivo and ex vivo malignant tissue (with the exception of effective conductivity at 915 MHz, where malignant tissue properties are 28% higher than normal). We report the one-pole Cole-Cole parameters for ex vivo normal, malignant and cirrhotic liver tissue in this frequency range. We observe that wideband dielectric properties of in vivo liver tissue are different from the wideband dielectric properties of ex vivo liver tissue, and that the in vivo data cannot be represented in terms of a Cole-Cole model. Further work is needed to uncover the mechanisms responsible for the observed wideband trends in the in vivo liver data.

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