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Diagnostics 2018, 8(4), 81;

Monitoring Thermal Ablation via Microwave Tomography: An Ex Vivo Experimental Assessment

National Research Council of Italy—Institute for the Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment, 80124 Napoli, Italy
Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, Division of Health Protection Technologies, Casaccia Research Center, 00123 Rome, Italy
Department of Information Engineering, Electronics and Telecommunications, Sapienza University of Rome, 00184 Rome, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 27 November 2018 / Accepted: 2 December 2018 / Published: 6 December 2018
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Thermal ablation treatments are gaining a lot of attention in the clinics thanks to their reduced invasiveness and their capability of treating non-surgical patients. The effectiveness of these treatments and their impact in the hospital’s routine would significantly increase if paired with a monitoring technique able to control the evolution of the treated area in real-time. This is particularly relevant in microwave thermal ablation, wherein the capability of treating larger tumors in a shorter time needs proper monitoring. Current diagnostic imaging techniques do not provide effective solutions to this issue for a number of reasons, including economical sustainability and safety. Hence, the development of alternative modalities is of interest. Microwave tomography, which aims at imaging the electromagnetic properties of a target under test, has been recently proposed for this scope, given the significant temperature-dependent changes of the dielectric properties of human tissues induced by thermal ablation. In this paper, the outcomes of the first ex vivo experimental study, performed to assess the expected potentialities of microwave tomography, are presented. The paper describes the validation study dealing with the imaging of the changes occurring in thermal ablation treatments. The experimental test was carried out on two ex vivo bovine liver samples and the reported results show the capability of microwave tomography of imaging the transition between ablated and untreated tissue. Moreover, the discussion section provides some guidelines to follow in order to improve the achievable performances. View Full-Text
Keywords: microwave imaging; thermal ablation; microwave ablation; image-guided; monitoring; dielectric properties microwave imaging; thermal ablation; microwave ablation; image-guided; monitoring; dielectric properties

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Scapaticci, R.; Lopresto, V.; Pinto, R.; Cavagnaro, M.; Crocco, L. Monitoring Thermal Ablation via Microwave Tomography: An Ex Vivo Experimental Assessment. Diagnostics 2018, 8, 81.

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