Experimental Investigation of Cryoneedle Heating during MR-Guided Cryoablation in Ex Vivo Tissue Samples at 1.5-Tesla

Aiming Lu, Christopher P. Favazza, Joel P. Felmlee, Brian T. Welch, Lance A. Mynderse, Jacinta E. Browne, David A. Woodrum, Krzysztof R. Gorny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To investigate cryoneedle heating risks during magnetic resonance (MR)-guided cryoablation and potential strategies to mitigate these risks. Materials and Methods: Ex vivo experiments were performed on a 1.5-Tesla (T) MR scanner using an MR conditional cryoablation system on porcine tissue phantoms. Cryoneedles were placed inside the tissue phantom either with or without an angiocatheter. Typical cryoneedle geometric configurations (including gas supply line) encountered in clinical procedures with low to high expected heating risks were investigated. Up to 4 fiber optic temperature sensors were attached to the cryoneedle/angiocatheter to measure the MR-induced cryoneedle heating at different locations during MR with different estimated specific absorption rates (SARs). The impact of cryoneedle heating on cryoablation treatment was studied by comparing temperature changes during 10-min freeze-thaw cycles with and without MR. Results: Rapid temperature increases of >100 °C in < 2 minutes were observed during MR with a SAR of 2.1 W/kg. The temperature changes during a typical freeze-thaw cycle were also affected by cryoneedle heating when MR was used to monitor the ice-ball evolution. The observed cryoneedle heating was affected by multiple factors; including cryoneedle geometric configurations, sequence SAR, whether an angiocatheter was used, and whether the cryoneedle was connected to the rest of the cryoablation system. Conclusions: The ex vivo experiments demonstrated that MR could induce significant cryoneedle heating risks. Furthermore, MR-induced cryoneedle heating can affect temperatures in the ice-ball evolution during the freeze-thaw cycle. Several practical strategies to reduce the cryoneedle heating have been proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-728.e2
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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