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Phys Med Biol. 2013 May 21;58(10):3321-37. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/58/10/3321. Epub 2013 Apr 25.

Visualization of thermal ablation lesions using cumulative dynamic contrast enhancement MRI.

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Cardiac and Interventional Applied Science Laboratory, General Electric Healthcare, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


A novel robust and user friendly method for post-processing dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE) MRI data is presented, which provides reliable real-time delineation of the borders of thermal ablation lesions on low SNR images shortly after contrast agent injection without any model-based curve fitting. Some simple descriptors of the DCE process are calculated in a time efficient recursive manner and combined into a single image reflecting both current and previous enhancement states of each pixel, which allows robust discrimination between tissue areas with different perfusion properties. The resulting cumulative DCE (CDCE) images are shown to exhibit a strong correlation with histopathology and late gadolinium enhancement representations of the thermal damage in soft tissue. It is shown that the outer border of the non-perfused ablation lesion core on CDCE MRI corresponds to the histopathological lesion border. The described method has a potential not only to facilitate thermal ablation outcome assessment, but also to improve detection of infiltrative tumours and reduce the administered contrast agent dose in any DCE scans.

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