Thermal analysis of laser interstitial thermotherapy in ex vivo fibro-fatty tissue using exponential functions

Nelson Salas, Fabrice Manns, Peter J. Milne, David B. Denham, Ahmed M. Minhaj, Jean Marie Parel, David S. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A therapeutic procedure to treat small, surface breast tumours up to 10 mm in radius plus a 5 mm margin of healthy, surrounding tissue using laser interstitial thermotherapy (LITT) is currently being investigated. The purpose of this study is to analyse and model the thermal and coagulative response of ex vivo fibro-fatty tissue, a model for breast tissue, during experimental laser interstitial thermotherapy at 980 nm. Laser radiation at 980 nm was delivered interstitially through a diffusing tip optical fibre inserted into a fibro-fatty tissue model to produce controlled heating at powers ranging from 3.2 to 8.0 W. Tissue temperature was measured with thermocouples placed at 15 positions around the fibre. The induced coagulation zone was measured on gross anatomical sections. Thermal analysis indicates that a finite sum of exponential functions is an approximate solution to the heat conduction equation that more accurately predicts the time-temperature dependence in tissue prior to carbonization (T < 100 °C) during LITT than the traditional model using a single exponential function. Analysis of the ellipsoid coagulation volume induced in tissue indicates that the 980 nm wavelength does not penetrate deep enough in fibro-fatty tissue to produce a desired 30 mm diameter (14.1 x 103 mm3) coagulation volume without unwanted tissue liquefaction and carbonization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1609-1624
Number of pages16
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 7 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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