Ultrasound monitoring of temperature change during radiofrequency ablation: Preliminary in-vivo results

T. Varghese, J. A. Zagzebski, Q. Chen, U. Techavipoo, G. Frank, C. Johnson, A. Wright, F. T. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


Radiofrequency (RF) ablation is an interstitial focal ablative therapy that can be used in a percutaneous fashion and permits in situ destruction of hepatic tumors. However, local tumor recurrence rates after RF ablative therapy are as high as 34% to 55%, which may be due in part to the inability to monitor accurately temperature profiles in the tissue being ablated, and to visualize the subsequent zone of necrosis (thermal lesion) formed. The goal of the work described in this paper was to investigate methods for the real-time and in vivo monitoring of the spatial distribution of heating and temperature elevation to achieve better control of the degree of tissue damage during RF ablation therapy. Temperature estimates are obtained using a cross-correlation algorithm applied to RF ultrasound (US) echo signal data acquired at discrete intervals during heating. These temperature maps were used to display the initial temperature rise and to continuously update a thermal map of the treated region. Temperature monitoring is currently performed using thermosensors on the prongs (tines) of the RF ablation probe. However, monitoring the spatial distribution of heating is necessary to control the degree of tissue damage produced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-329
Number of pages9
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Larry Whitesell and Jennifer Buck for providing liver tissue samples used for the RFA procedure. This work was supported in part by start-up grant funds from the Department of Medical Physics, Medical School and Graduate School at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and by NIH grant R01 CA39224.


  • Ablation
  • Imaging
  • RF ablation
  • Temperature
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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