Electrode displacement strain imaging of thermally-ablated liver tissue in an in vivo animal model

N. Rubert*, S. Bharat, R. J. DeWall, A. Andreano, C. Brace, J. Jiang, L. Sampson, T. Varghese

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Purpose: Percutaneous thermal ablation is increasingly being used to destroy hepatic tumors in situ. The success of ablative techniques is highly dependent on adequate ablation zone monitoring, and ultrasound-based strain imaging could become a convenient and cost-effective means to delineate ablation zone boundaries. This study investigates in vivo electrode displacement-based strain imaging for monitoring hepatic ablation procedures that are difficult to perform with conventional elastography. Methods: In our method, minute displacements (less than a millimeter) are applied to the unconstrained end of the ablation electrode, resulting in localized tissue deformation within the ablation zone that provides the mechanical stimuli required for strain imaging. This article presents electrode displacement strain images of radiofrequency ablation zones created in porcine liver in vivo (n=13). Results: Cross-sectional area measurements from strain images of these ablation zones were obtained using manual and automated segmentation. Area measurements from strain images were highly correlated with areas measured on histopathology images, quantitated using linear regression (R=0.894, P<0.001 and R=0.828, P<0.001, respectively). Conclusions: This study further demonstrates that electrode displacement elastography is capable of providing high-contrast images using widely available commercial ultrasound systems which may potentially be used to assess the extent of thermal ablation zones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1075-1082
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010


  • Ablation
  • Elasticity
  • Elasticity imaging
  • Elastography
  • Electrode displacement
  • Microwave ablation
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Strain
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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