Purpose: Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is a nonthermal tissue ablation technique that represents a promising treatment option for unresectable liver tumors, but the effectively treated zone cannot be reliably predicted. We investigate the potential benefit of transcatheter intra-arterial perfusion (TRIP) -MRI for the early noninvasive differentiation of IRE zone from surrounding reversibly electroporated (RE) zone. Methods: Seventeen rabbits with VX2 liver tumors were scanned with morphological and contrast-enhanced MRI sequences approximately 30 min after IRE tumor ablation. Quantitative TRIP-MRI perfusion parameters were evaluated in IRE zone and RE zone, defined according to histology. MRI and histology results were compared among zones using Wilcoxon rank-sum tests and correlations were evaluated by Pearson’s correlation coefficient. Results: There were significant differences in area under the curve, time to peak, maximum and late enhancement, wash-in and wash-out rates in the tumor IRE zones compared with the boundary tumor RE zones and untreated tumors. Histology showed significantly fewer tumor cells, microvessels and significantly more apoptosis in tumor IRE zones compared with tumor RE zones (−51%, −66% and +185%, respectively) and untreated tumors (−60%, −67%, and +228%, respectively). A strong correlation was observed between MRI and histology measurements of IRE zones (r = 0.948) and RE zones (r = 0.951). Conclusion: TRIP-MRI demonstrated the potential to detect immediate perfusion changes following IRE liver tumor ablation and effectively differentiate the IRE zone from the surrounding tumor RE zone.
- irreversible electroporation
- irreversibly electroporated zone
- liver tumors
- reversibly electroporated zone
- transcatheter intra-arterial perfusion (TRIP)-MRI
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging