Sphere-enhanced microwave ablation (sMWA) versus bland microwave ablation (bMWA): technical parameters, specific CT 3D rendering and histopathology

T L Gockner, S Zelzer, T Mokry, D Gnutzmann, N Bellemann, C Mogler, A Beierfuß, E Köllensperger, G Germann, B A Radeleff, U Stampfl, H U Kauczor, P L Pereira, C M Sommer
Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology 2015, 38 (2): 442-52

PURPOSE: This study was designed to compare technical parameters during ablation as well as CT 3D rendering and histopathology of the ablation zone between sphere-enhanced microwave ablation (sMWA) and bland microwave ablation (bMWA).

METHODS: In six sheep-livers, 18 microwave ablations were performed with identical system presets (power output: 80 W, ablation time: 120 s). In three sheep, transarterial embolisation (TAE) was performed immediately before microwave ablation using spheres (diameter: 40 ± 10 μm) (sMWA). In the other three sheep, microwave ablation was performed without spheres embolisation (bMWA). Contrast-enhanced CT, sacrifice, and liver harvest followed immediately after microwave ablation. Study goals included technical parameters during ablation (resulting power output, ablation time), geometry of the ablation zone applying specific CT 3D rendering with a software prototype (short axis of the ablation zone, volume of the largest aligned ablation sphere within the ablation zone), and histopathology (hematoxylin-eosin, Masson Goldner and TUNEL).

RESULTS: Resulting power output/ablation times were 78.7 ± 1.0 W/120 ± 0.0 s for bMWA and 78.4 ± 1.0 W/120 ± 0.0 s for sMWA (n.s., respectively). Short axis/volume were 23.7 ± 3.7 mm/7.0 ± 2.4 cm(3) for bMWA and 29.1 ± 3.4 mm/11.5 ± 3.9 cm(3) for sMWA (P < 0.01, respectively). Histopathology confirmed the signs of coagulation necrosis as well as early and irreversible cell death for bMWA and sMWA. For sMWA, spheres were detected within, at the rim, and outside of the ablation zone without conspicuous features.

CONCLUSIONS: Specific CT 3D rendering identifies a larger ablation zone for sMWA compared with bMWA. The histopathological signs and the detectable amount of cell death are comparable for both groups. When comparing sMWA with bMWA, TAE has no effect on the technical parameters during ablation.

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