RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES:
The purpose of this study was to utilize computer assistance effectively for both easy and accurate magnetic resonance (MR) image-guided microwave thermocoagulation therapy of liver tumors.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
An open configuration MR scanner and a microwave coagulator at 2.45 GHz were used. Navigation software, a 3D Slicer, was customized to combine fluoroscopic MR images and preoperative MR images for the navigation. New functions to display MR temperature maps with simple parameter setting, and to record and display the coagulated areas by multiple microwave ablations in the 3-dimensional space (footprinting), were also introduced into the software. The VGA signal of the computer display was directly transferred to the surgeon’s monitor.
The customized software could be used for both accurate image navigation and convenient and easy temperature monitoring. Because repeated punctures and ablations are usually required in this procedure, the footprinting function made targeting of the tumors both easy and accurate and was quite effective in achieving the necessary and sufficient treatment. Furthermore, clear display on the surgeon’s monitor, which was obtained by direct transfer of the VGA signal, enabled precise image navigation.
The newly developed computer assistance was quite useful and helpful for this MR-guided procedure.