Quality of MR thermometry during palliative MR-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound (MR-HIFU) treatment of bone metastases

Lam, Mie K, Huisman, Merel, Nijenhuis, Robbert J, van den Bosch, Maurice, Viergever, Max A, Moonen, Chrit Tw, Bartels, LW


Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound [E] 3 p. 5


BACKGROUND: Magnetic resonance (MR)-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound has emerged as a clinical option for palliative treatment of painful bone metastases, with MR thermometry (MRT) used for treatment monitoring. In this study, the general image quality of the MRT was assessed in terms of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and apparent temperature variation. Also, MRT artifacts were scored for their occurrence and hampering of the treatment monitoring.

METHODS: Analyses were performed on 224 MRT datasets retrieved from 13 treatments. The SNR was measured per voxel over time in magnitude images, in the target lesion and surrounding muscle, and was averaged per treatment. The standard deviation over time of the measured temperature per voxel in MRT images, in the muscle outside the heated region, was defined as the apparent temperature variation and was averaged per treatment. The scored MRT artifacts originated from the following sources: respiratory and non-respiratory time-varying field inhomogeneities, arterial ghosting, and patient motion by muscle contraction and by gross body movement. Distinction was made between lesion type, location, and procedural sedation and analgesic (PSA).

RESULTS: The average SNR was highest in and around osteolytic lesions (21 in lesions, 27 in surrounding muscle, n = 4) and lowest in the upper body (9 in lesions, 16 in surrounding muscle, n = 4). The average apparent temperature variation was lowest in osteolytic lesions (1.2°C, n = 4) and the highest in the upper body (1.7°C, n = 4). Respiratory time-varying field inhomogeneity MRT artifacts occurred in 85% of the datasets and hampered treatment monitoring in 81%. Non-respiratory time-varying field inhomogeneities and arterial ghosting MRT artifacts were most frequent (94% and 95%) but occurred only locally. Patient motion artifacts were highly variable and occurred less in treatments of osteolytic lesions and using propofol and esketamine as PSA.

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, the general image quality of MRT was observed to be higher in osteolytic lesions and lower in the upper body. Respiratory time-varying field inhomogeneity was the most prominent MRT artifact. Patient motion occurrence varied between treatments and seemed to be related to lesion type and type of PSA. Clinicians should be aware of these observed characteristics when interpreting MRT images.