Magnetic resonance imaging for hepatic radiofrequency ablation

S. Clasen, A. Boss, D. Schmidt, J. Fritz, C. Schraml, C. D. Claussen, P. L. Pereira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Image-guided radiofrequency (RF) ablation is a minimally invasive therapy option in the treatment of primary and secondary hepatic malignancies. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging offers an accurate pre-interventional imaging having important impact on patient selection and planning of the ablation procedure. Peri-interventional imaging is used for targeting, monitoring, and controlling of the ablation procedure. Due to a high soft-tissue contrast offering delineation of tumor tissue and the surrounding anatomy, coupled with multiplanar capabilities, MR imaging is an advantageous targeting technique compared with ultrasonography (US) or computed tomography (CT). MR imaging is sensitive to thermal effects enabling a monitoring of ablation therapy subsequently being supportive to control the ablation procedure. Therefore, MR imaging can fulfil the conditions for overlapping ablations by enabling a precise repositioning of the MR compatible RF applicator if required. Thus, the probability of achieving complete coagulation in larger tumors within a single therapy session is potentially increased. A monitoring of thermal effects is moreover essential in order to prevent unintended tissue damage from critical structures in the surrounding of the target tissue. Post-interventional imaging is performed to assess treatment response after RF ablation and has prognostic impact, as an early detection of treatment failure, e.g. residual tumor tissue, enables immediate therapy. Nevertheless, differential diagnostic difficulties arise from benign periablational enhancement which may cover tumor tissue. Hence, further evaluation and improvement in the assessment of treatment response is essential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-148
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Abdomen/GI
  • Ablation procedures
  • Interventional
  • Liver
  • MR imaging
  • Treatment effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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