Magnetic Resonance Mediated Radiofrequency Ablation

Yik Kiong Hue, Alexander Guimaraes, Ouri Cohen, Erez Nevo, Abraham Roth, Jerome L. Ackerman, Jerome L. Ackerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To introduce magnetic resonance mediated radiofrequency ablation (MR-RFA), in which the MRI scanner uniquely serves both diagnostic and therapeutic roles. In MR-RFA scanner-induced RF heating is channeled to the ablation site via a Larmor frequency RF pickup device and needle system, and controlled via the pulse sequence. Methods: MR-RFA was evaluated with simulation of electric and magnetic fields to predict the increase in local specific-absorption-rate (SAR). Temperature-time profiles were measured for different configurations of the device in agar phantoms and ex vivo bovine liver in a 1.5 T scanner. Temperature rise in MR-RFA was imaged using the proton resonance frequency method validated with fiber-optic thermometry. MR-RFA was performed on the livers of two healthy live pigs. Results: Simulations indicated a near 10-fold increase in SAR at the RFA needle tip. Temperature-time profiles depended significantly on the physical parameters of the device although both configurations tested yielded temperature increases sufficient for ablation. Resected livers from live ablations exhibited clear thermal lesions. Conclusion: MR-RFA holds potential for integrating RF ablation tumor therapy with MRI scanning. Significance: MR-RFA may add value to MRI with the addition of a potentially disposable ablation device while retaining MRI’s ability to provide real time procedure guidance and measurement of tissue temperature, perfusion and coagulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
StateAccepted/In press - Sep 16 2017


  • Heating systems
  • interventional radiology
  • liver cancer
  • Magnetic resonance
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • MRI
  • Power transmission lines
  • proton resonance frequency (PRF) shift thermal imaging
  • Radio frequency
  • radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
  • Tumors
  • Wires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Hue, Y. K., Guimaraes, A., Cohen, O., Nevo, E., Roth, A., Ackerman, J. L., & Ackerman, J. L. (Accepted/In press). Magnetic Resonance Mediated Radiofrequency Ablation. IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging.