Photoacoustic imaging in percutaneous radiofrequency ablation: device guidance and ablation visualization

Francis Kalloor Joseph, Srirang Manohar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
173 Downloads (Pure)


Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is gaining importance as a locoregional treatment for tumors in several organs including the liver, lung, kidney and bone. In RFA, the tumor is eradicated with the direct application of heat using alternating current through a needle electrode positioned under imaging guidance. Various imaging methods are used in the RFA ablation procedure but these have drawbacks. In this work, we introduce photoacoustic (PA) imaging as a new method with the potential to visualize the targeting of RFA needle into a region of interest and to report on the extent of ablation achieved. We demonstrate the proof-of-concept in using PA imaging together with ultrasound imaging on ex vivo biological samples in the laboratory simulating relevant clinical scenarios in RFA. These include guidance of the RFA needle to target tissue, mapping of simulated blood vessels during needle insertion and differentiation between ablated and surrounding tissue. The results of this first investigation into the use of PA imaging to assist RFA procedures are encouraging. We discuss the challenges encountered, the scope for future work and envisaged clinical application.
Original languageEnglish
Article number184001
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number18
Early online date29 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2019


  • ex vivo
  • liver treatment
  • photoacoustic imaging
  • radiofrequency ablation
  • real-time imaging
  • surgical tool tracking
  • ultrasound imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Photoacoustic imaging in percutaneous radiofrequency ablation: device guidance and ablation visualization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this