OBJECTIVE To assess by use of various diagnostic imaging modalities acute changes in livers of healthy dogs after radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and determine the capability of each imaging modality to monitor ablation lesion changes.
ANIMALS 6 healthy Beagles.
PROCEDURES 12 ablation lesions were created in the liver of the dogs (2 lesions/dog). Ablation lesions were evaluated by use of conventional ultrasonography, strain elastography, and contrast-enhanced ultrasonography immediately after (time 0), 30 to 60 minutes after, and 3 days after RFA, and by use of CT 30 minutes and 3 days after RFA. Three dogs were euthanized shortly after RFA, and the other 3 dogs were euthanized on day 3. Lesion size measured by each imaging modality was compared with necropsy findings.
RESULTS Immediately after RFA, clear margins were more visible with elastography and contrast-enhanced ultrasonography than with conventional ultrasonography, which had acoustic shadowing. On triphasic contrast CT, the ablation zone, which indicated necrosis and hemorrhage, was not enhanced and could be measured. Marked enhancement of the periablation rim was observed during the venous phase and was identified as granulation tissue. Size of the ablation area measured on enhanced CT images was strongly correlated with actual lesion size.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE For dogs of this study, CT was the most reliable method for lesion size determination. Although ultrasonographic imaging measurements underestimated lesion size, all modalities could be used to provide additional real-time guidance for RFA procedures of the liver as well as for other RFA procedures.