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Issue No. 12 - Dec. (2011 vol. 17)
ISSN: 1077-2626
pp: 1812-1821
Christian Rieder , Fraunhofer MEVIS
Tim Kroeger , Fraunhofer MEVIS / CeVis, University of Bremen
Christian Schumann , Fraunhofer MEVIS
Horst K. Hahn , Fraunhofer MEVIS / Jacobs University Bremen
Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is becoming a standard minimally invasive clinical procedure for the treatment of liver tumors. However, planning the applicator placement such that the malignant tissue is completely destroyed, is a demanding task that requires considerable experience. In this work, we present a fast GPU-based real-time approximation of the ablation zone incorporating the cooling effect of liver vessels. Weighted distance fields of varying RF applicator types are derived from complex numerical simulations to allow a fast estimation of the ablation zone. Furthermore, the heat-sink effect of the cooling blood flow close to the applicator's electrode is estimated by means of a preprocessed thermal equilibrium representation of the liver parenchyma and blood vessels. Utilizing the graphics card, the weighted distance field incorporating the cooling blood flow is calculated using a modular shader framework, which facilitates the real-time visualization of the ablation zone in projected slice views and in volume rendering. The proposed methods are integrated in our software assistant prototype for planning RFA therapy. The software allows the physician to interactively place virtual RF applicator models. The real-time visualization of the corresponding approximated ablation zone facilitates interactive evaluation of the tumor coverage in order to optimize the applicator's placement such that all cancer cells are destroyed by the ablation.
Radiofrequency ablation, ablation zone visualization, distance field, volume rendering, GPU, interaction.

C. Schumann, T. Kroeger, C. Rieder and H. K. Hahn, "GPU-based Real-Time Approximation of the Ablation Zone for Radiofrequency Ablation," in IEEE Transactions on Visualization & Computer Graphics, vol. 17, no. , pp. 1812-1821, 2011.
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