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J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2007 Aug;18(8):1011-20.

Radiofrequency ablation of bone with cooled probes and impedance control energy delivery in a pig model: MR imaging features.

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Department of Radiology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Eccles St, Dublin 7, Ireland.



To determine the coronal marrow ablation length and detect cortical thinning after radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of bone in a pig model.


Twelve pigs underwent RFA with a 1- or 2-cm single internally cooled electrode placed at the mid-diaphyseal point of their long bones at 1, 7, or 28 days before euthanasia. Twelve minutes of impedance control radiofrequency energy was delivered at maximum output from a 200-W generator. Pigs were imaged with axial and coronal turbo spin-echo (SE) T1- and T2-weighted frequency-selective fat suppression sequences by using spectral presaturation with inversion recovery (SPIR). A radiologist blinded to the timing of the treatment and the results of other imaging sequences measured the coronal ablation zone length and cortical thickness. The pigs were euthanized, and the ablated bone underwent histologic examination.


At SPIR imaging, the zone of marrow ablation was defined as an area of low signal intensity surrounded by a high-signal-intensity band. At T1-weighted imaging, the zone of marrow ablation was defined as a heterogeneously isointense area surrounded by a low-signal-intensity band. The mean (+/-standard deviation) coronal marrow ablation zone measurement with SPIR imaging at 28 days was 47 mm +/- 9 (range, 34-73 mm) for the 1-cm electrode and 51 mm +/- 7 (range, 33-67 mm) for the 2-cm electrode. Two humeral fractures occurred at 21 and 28 days after therapy. Thinning of the cortex adjacent to the electrode insertion site was identified in the humeral group only.


The change in the marrow signal intensity with impedance-controlled RFA is larger than that reported for temperature-controlled protocols. RFA leads to bone weakening.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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