Scientific article
Open access

A Novel Concept of a Phased-Array HIFU Transducer Optimized for MR-Guided Hepatic Ablation: Embodiment and First In-Vivo Studies

Published inFrontiers in oncology, vol. 12, 899440
Publication date2022-05-30
First online date2022-05-30

Purpose: High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is challenging in the liver due to the respiratory motion and risks of near-/far-field burns, particularly on the ribs. We implemented a novel design of a HIFU phased-array transducer, dedicated to transcostal hepatic thermo-ablation. Due to its large acoustic window and strong focusing, the transducer should perform safely for this application.

Material and methods: The new HIFU transducer is composed of 256 elements distributed on 5 concentric segments of a specific radius (either 100, 111, or 125 mm). It has been optimally shaped to fit the abdominal wall. The shape and size of the acoustic elements were optimized for the largest emitting surface and the lowest symmetry. Calibration tests have been conducted on tissue-mimicking gels under 3-T magnetic resonance (MR) guidance. In-vivo MR-guided HIFU treatment was conducted in two pigs, aiming to create thermal ablation deep in the liver without significant side effects. Imaging follow-up was performed at D0 and D7. Sacrifice and post-mortem macroscopic examination occurred at D7, with the ablated tissue being fixed for pathology.

Results: The device showed -3-dB focusing capacities in a volume of 27 × 46 × 50 mm3as compared with the numerical simulation volume of 18 × 48 × 60 mm3. The shape of the focal area was in millimeter-range agreement with the numerical simulations. No interference was detected between the HIFU sonication and the MR acquisition. In vivo, the temperature elevation in perivascular liver parenchyma reached 28°C above physiological temperature, within one breath-hold. The lesion was visible on Gd contrast-enhanced MRI sequences and post-mortem examination. The non-perfused volume was found in pig #1 and pig #2 of 8/11, 6/8, and 7/7 mm along the LR, AP, and HF directions, respectively. No rib burns or other near-field side effects were visually observed on post-mortem gross examination. High-resolution contrast-enhanced 3D MRI indicated a minor lesion on the sternum.

Conclusion: The performance of this new HIFU transducer has been demonstrated in vitro and in vivo. The transducer meets the requirement to perform thermal lesions in deep tissues, without the need for rib-sparing means.

  • HIFU
  • MR thermometry
  • Hepatic ablation
  • Phased-array
  • Thermotherapy
Citation (ISO format)
LORTON, Orane et al. A Novel Concept of a Phased-Array HIFU Transducer Optimized for MR-Guided Hepatic Ablation: Embodiment and First In-Vivo Studies. In: Frontiers in oncology, 2022, vol. 12, p. 899440. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2022.899440
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2234-943X

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Creation09/21/2022 3:24:00 PM
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Update time03/16/2023 8:38:13 AM
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