Computational modeling of radiofrequency ablation: Evaluation on ex vivo data using ultrasound monitoring

Chloé Audigier, Younsu Kim, Austin Dillow, Emad M. Boctor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is the most widely used minimally invasive ablative therapy for liver cancer, but it is challenged by a lack of patient-specific monitoring. Inter-patient tissue variability and the presence of blood vessels make the prediction of the RFA dificult. A monitoring tool which can be personalized for a given patient during the intervention would be helpful to achieve a complete tumor ablation. However, the clinicians do not have access to such a tool, which results in incomplete treatment and a large number of recurrences. Computational models can simulate the phenomena and mechanisms governing this therapy. The temperature evolution as well as the resulted ablation can be modeled. When combined together with intra-operative measurements, computational modeling becomes an accurate and powerful tool to gain quantitative understanding and to enable improvements in the ongoing clinical settings. This paper shows how computational models of RFA can be evaluated using intra-operative measurements. First, simulations are used to demonstrate the feasibility of the method, which is then evaluated on two ex vivo datasets. RFA is simulated on a simplified geometry to generate realistic longitudinal temperature maps and the resulted necrosis. Computed temperatures are compared with the temperature evolution recorded using thermometers, and with temperatures monitored by ultrasound (US) in a 2D plane containing the ablation tip. Two ablations are performed on two cadaveric bovine livers, and we achieve error of 2.2 °C on average between the computed and the thermistors temperature and 1.4 °C and 2.7 °C on average between the temperature computed and monitored by US during the ablation at two different time points (t = 240 s and t = 900 s).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2017
Subtitle of host publicationImage-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling
EditorsRobert J. Webster, Baowei Fei
ISBN (Electronic)9781510607156
StatePublished - 2017
EventMedical Imaging 2017: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling - Orlando, United States
Duration: Feb 14 2017Feb 16 2017

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2017: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Computational modeling
  • Ex vivo Vali-dation
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Ultrasound thermal monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Computational modeling of radiofrequency ablation: Evaluation on ex vivo data using ultrasound monitoring'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this