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IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2008 Aug;55(8):2087-93. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2008.919837.

Finite-element analysis of hepatic cryoablation around a large blood vessel.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Cryoablation is a minimally invasive ablation technique for primary and metastatic hepatic tumors. Inadequate freezing around large blood vessels due to the warm blood flow can lead to local recurrence, and thus, necessitates close application of a cryoprobe to the large blood vessels. In this study, we constructed a perfusion model with an ex vivo bovine liver and ablated the tissue around a large blood vessel with one or two cryoprobes applied to the side of the vessel. The finite-element computer model developed in our previous study was modified to include a blood vessel and its convective heat transfer to the vicinity of the blood vessel. We compared the predicted simulation results to those acquired from this ex vivo perfusion model. The results indicate that blood vessels act as a heat source and generate steep temperature profiles in the area next to the large blood vessel. After validation, the maximum allowable distance between the cryoprobe and the large blood vessel for successful cryoablation was presented. The results of this study should be considered when placing cryoprobes in the vicinity of large blood vessels.

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