The purpose of this study was to develop a thermometry software tool for temperature monitoring during laser-induced interstitial thermotherapy (LITT). C++ programming language and several libraries including DICOM Toolkit, Grassroots DICOM library, Insight Segmentation and Registration Toolkit, Visualization Toolkit and Quasar Toolkit were used. The software’s graphical user interface creates windows displaying the temperature map and the coagulation extent in the tissue, determined by the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) thermometry with the echo planar imaging sequence and a numerical simulation based on the radiation and heat transfer in biological tissues, respectively. The software was evaluated applying the MRI-guided LITT to ex vivo pig liver and simultaneously measuring the temperature through a fiber-optic thermometer as reference. Using the software, the temperature distribution determined by the MRI method was compared with the coagulation extent simulation. An agreement was shown between the MRI temperature map and the simulated coagulation extent. Furthermore, the MRI-based and simulated temperatures agreed with the measured one – a correlation coefficient of 0.9993 and 0.9996 was obtained, respectively. The precision of the MRI temperature amounted to 2.4°C. In conclusion, the software tool developed in the present study can be applied for monitoring and controlling the LITT procedure in ex vivo tissues.
Research funding: This research was supported by a grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG) for the project “In-vitro Temperaturbestimmung und Computersimulation der Temperaturverteilung zur optimalen Planung und Steuerung der laserinduzierten Thermotherapie (LITT)” with the reference numbers VO 479/10-3 and SI 1289/1-3 to the institutes IDIR of the J. W. Goethe-University and the Fraunhofer ITWM, respectively.
Conflict of interest: Authors state no conflict of interest.
Informed consent: Informed consent is not applicable.
Ethical approval: The conducted research is not related to either human or animals use.
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