Radiofrequency tissue ablation: increased lesion diameter with a perfusion electrode.

S. N. Goldberg, G. S. Gazelle, L. Solbiati, W. J. Rittman, P. R. Mueller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: We sought to induce large zones of coagulation necrosis using radiofrequency (RF) with perfusion electrodes and to define optimal parameters for this system. METHODS: We developed RF electrodes with internal cannulas to enable tip perfusion. Lesions were created with monopolar RF in ex vivo and in vivo liver and muscle tissue with and without perfusion of the electrode tip using 0 degree C saline. In separate experiments, wattage, current, procedure duration, tip exposure, and perfused tip temperatures were studied. RESULTS: In ex vivo liver tissue, a maximum lesion diameter of 3.1 cm without charring occurred with perfusion at 12 min and 50 W. In in vivo liver tissue with perfusion (tip temperature = 25-35 degrees C) and a 3-cm tip exposure, 80 W were deposited in muscle tissue and 65 W in liver tissue for 12 min without inducing charring. Lesion diameters were 4.5 cm and 2.4 cm, respectively. By comparison, without perfusion a maximum of 20 W could be deposited into either tissue type, resulting in 1.8-cm muscle lesions and 1.2-cm liver lesions. Tip temperatures between 45 degrees C and 55 degrees C resulted in charring. Smaller but predictable lesion diameters were created with a lower power, a shorter tip exposure, or both. Of all the parameters, diameter correlated best with the current applied. CONCLUSION: Perfusion of RF electrodes with chilled saline allows for increased power deposition without tissue charring, increasing the volume of coagulation necrosis created with a single electrode insertion. Perfusion electrodes therefore might decrease the number of probe insertions required for percutaneous tumor ablation therapy or allow for the treatment of larger lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636-644
Number of pages9
JournalAcademic Radiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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    Goldberg, S. N., Gazelle, G. S., Solbiati, L., Rittman, W. J., & Mueller, P. R. (1996). Radiofrequency tissue ablation: increased lesion diameter with a perfusion electrode. Academic Radiology, 3(8), 636-644.