MR-guided RF thermal ablation of the kidney in a porcine model

Elmar M. Merkle, Jason R. Shonk, Jeffrey L. Duerk, Gretta H. Jacobs, Jonathan S. Lewin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the ability of MR imaging to reveal RF interstitial thermotherapy in the porcine kidney, as a model for future human trials, and to provide guidance for RF probe insertion. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. Ten MR-guided RF ablations were performed in the kidneys of three pigs. A 17-gauge monopolar RF probe electrode was inserted into the renal cortex using MR guidance, and RF was applied for 10 min. After postprocedure imaging (T2-weighted, turbo short inversion time inversion recovery [STIR], and T1-weighted sequences), the kidneys were harvested for pathologic examination. RESULTS. Successful RF probe placement was accomplished in all cases; the interventional procedure time for probe insertion ranged from 4 to 15 min. The thermal lesion size varied from 7 to 14 mm perpendicular to the probe track and was best seen on turbo STIR images. Turbo STIR had the highest renal cortex-to-RF thermal lesion contrast-to-noise ratio with an average of 4.4 ± 3.5. Turbo STIR imaging never overestimated pathologic lesion diameter with a mean difference of 1.5 ± 1.4 mm. Three subcapsular hematomas occurred, which could be detected immediately on postprocedure imaging. CONCLUSION. MR-guided RF thermal ablation in the porcine kidney was found to be feasible, but minor complications occurred. Induced thermal lesion size was best monitored using turbo STIR images. In the future, RF ablation may offer an alternative treatment option for renal cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-651
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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