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Invest Radiol. 2005 Sep;40(9):583-90.

Magnetic resonance-guided percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of renal cell carcinomas: a pilot clinical study.

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  • 1Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Eberhard-Karls University, Tübingen, Germany.



The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility and efficacy of magnetic resonance imaging-(MRI) guided percutaneous radiofrequency (RF) ablation of renal cell carcinomas (RCC).


Twelve patients with RCC (63 to 82 years old) were treated with RF ablation in an interventional 0.2-Tesla open MR unit. Tumor sizes varied from 1.6 cm to 3.9 cm in maximum diameter (tumor volumes 1.9 cm3 to 28.7 cm3). RF procedures were entirely performed in the MR suite. For positioning of the MR-compatible RF-electrode, near real-time MR fluoroscopy by means of rapid gradient echo sequences (acquisition time approximately 2 seconds) was used. Monitoring of ablation was obtained by intermittent imaging with T1- and T2-weighted spin echo sequences.


Accurate placement of the RF electrodes was possible in all cases using near real-time MR fluoroscopy. Eleven of 12 patients were successfully treated within 1 single session; 1 patient had to be retreated for tumor relapse at 13 months follow up. Mean number of electrode repositionings under MR guidance during 1 session was 1.7; ablation time ranged between 12 and 28 minutes. Mean duration of 1 treatment session was 5 hours. Coagulation volumes ranged from 7.3 cm3 up to 30.2 cm3. All patients now appear to be disease-free with a mean follow up of 10.3 months (range, 3-23 months).


MRI-guided RF ablation of RCC in an interventional MR unit is safe and feasible. Fast MR imaging is a convenient method for rapid positioning of MR-compatible RF electrodes. MR monitoring of ablation procedure with T2-weighted imaging allows for immediate assessment of coagulation extent.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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