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Medical Physics Seminar – Monday, February 10, 2014

Towards Quantitative Ultrasound Imaging of Thermal Ablation Therapy in the Liver


Nicholas Rubert (student of Dr. Tomy Varghese)
Research Assistant, Dept of Medical Physics, UW-School of Medicine & Public Health, Madison, WI - USA -

Thermal ablation is a minimally invasive cancer therapy that is an attractive alternative to surgery for many patients with primary and metastatic liver tumors. In thermal ablation therapy, a needle-like applicator is guided into the tumor percutaneously and an RF current or microwave field heats target tissues, causing cell death. In order for thermal ablation therapy to be successful, the entire tumor volume and a small margin surrounding the tumor must be treated. Currently, ultrasound imaging is often used for needle guidance because of its low-cost, portability, and real-time capabilities.

However, ultrasound B-mode imaging has been found to perform extremely poorly at identifying the treated region following thermal ablation therapy. Because of the poor contrast between treated and untreated tissue, contrast in fundamental tissue properties between ablated and unablated liver tissue has been examined for over two decades. This talk will present results on differences in scattering between ablated and unablated tissue and progress towards estimating the acoustic attenuation coefficient of liver tissue.

Location: 1345 (HSLC) Health Science Learning Center, 750 Highland Ave, Madison, WI 53705

Time: 4pm-5pm

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