Software Assistance for Needle Based Intervention

Clinical Challenges

Achieving satisfactory treatment outcome in thermal tumor ablation, such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or microwave ablation (MWA), is a challenging task: occlusion of the target, vicinity of risk structures, and heat-sink effects of cooling vessels complicate the procedure. Clinical studies consequently report high tumor recurrence rates after tumor ablation procuderes. To overcome these challenges, reliable treatment planning including outcome prediction, support for effcient and safe execution, and verifcation of the treatment success are needed.

Highlights & Technologies

Software Support for Safer Intervention

 

Fraunhofer MEVIS develops software solutions for image-guided interventions. By analysis of planning images, patient-specifc simulation, intra-interventional guidance, and post-interventional quantitative assessment, safer and more efficacious interventions will be possible. 

 

 

 

 

 

Patient-Specific Outcome Prediction

Numerical simulations of thermal ablation therapies provide detailed predictions of the treatment result to allow reliable patient-specific planning. The models incorporate the patient‘s physiology including risk structures, cooling effects due to bloodfow. Depending on the requirements, fast approximation methods and accurate numerical simulations can be used to predict the treatment outcome. 

Intra-Interventional Guidance

 

Successful interventions require an accurate execution of the treatment plan. Navigation systems are utilized to transfer the planning data to the interventional situation. During intervention, image registration allows to fuse the pre-interventional treatment plan with the intra-interventional images. 

 

 

 

 

Determination of Access Paths

Advanced visualization methods and algorithms for the automated computation of needle placements allow the physician to quickly plan interventions. Treatment options can be interactively explored to determine the optimal access path, even in diffcult cases. This is made possible by automated vessel and lesion segmentation, fast projection methods, and multi-criteria optimization for interactive exploration of treatment options.

Registration of Pre and Post Scans

 

Thorough follow-up imaging is essential to evaluate the success of tumor ablation therapies. Based on segmentation masks from tumor and coagulation, an automated registration algorithm aligns pre- and post-interventional images - on average as accurately as experienced medical experts, but significantly faster. 

 

 

 

 

Assessment of the Therapy Success

Therapy assessment facilitates fast and accurate comparison of tumor and coagulation. To objectify the treatment success, novel visualization tools combine fused anatomical images with tumor and its distance to the coagulation necrosis.