Effects of a Thermal Accelerant Gel on Microwave Ablation Zone Volumes in Lung: A Porcine Study

Aaron W P Maxwell, William K C Park, Grayson L Baird, Douglas W Martin, Kara A Lombardo, Damian E Dupuy
Radiology 2019 February 12, : 181652
Background Thermal ablation of cancers may be associated with high rates of local tumor progression. A thermal accelerant gel has been developed to improve the transmission of microwave energy in biologic tissues with the aim of enlarging the thermal ablation zone. Purpose To determine the effects of a thermal accelerant gel on microwave ablation zone volumes in porcine lung and to compare percutaneous and endobronchial delivery methods. Materials and Methods Thirty-two consecutive microwave lung ablations were performed in nine 12-week-old domestic male swine under general anesthesia by using fluoroscopic guidance between September 2017 and April 2018. Experimental ablations were performed following percutaneous injection of thermal accelerant into the lung (n = 16) or after endobronchial injection by using a flexible bronchoscope (n = 8). Control ablations were performed without accelerant gel (n = 8). Lung tissue was explanted after the animals were killed, and ablation zone volumes were calculated as the primary outcome measure by using triphenyltetrazolium chloride vital staining. Differences in treatment volumes were analyzed by generalized mixed modeling. Results Thermal accelerant ablation zone volumes were larger than control ablations (accelerant vs control ablation, 4.3 cm3 [95% confidence interval: 3.4, 5.5] vs 2.1 cm3 [95% confidence interval: 1.4, 2.9], respectively; P < .001). Among ablations with the thermal accelerant, those performed following percutaneous injection had a larger average ablation zone volume than those performed following endobronchial injection (percutaneous vs endobronchial, 4.8 cm3 [95% confidence interval: 3.6, 6.4] vs 3.3 cm3 [95% confidence interval: 2.9, 3.8], respectively; P = .03). Ablation zones created after endobronchial gel injection were more uniform in size distribution (standard error, percutaneous vs endobronchial: 0.13 vs 0.07, respectively; P = .03). Conclusion Use of thermal accelerant results in larger microwave ablation zone volumes in normal porcine lung tissue. Percutaneous thermal accelerant injection leads to a larger ablation zone volume compared with endobronchial injection, whereas a more homogeneous and precise ablation zone size is observed by using the endobronchial approach. © RSNA, 2019 See also the editorial by Goldberg in this issue.

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