Treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma using the Smart Fusion needle navigation system: conversion from real-time 4D-echo data
- hepatocellular carcinoma, radiofrequency ablation, virtualsonography navigationsystem, four-dimensional ultrasonography
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Advances in ultrasound systems have improved the accuracy of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) diagnosis and treatment.
We have been treating HCC using real-time 4D and Live 3D-echo technologies. However, these treatment methods have drawbacks such as vibrations during puncture and a limited angle of needle insertion.
To overcome these problems, systems that can display ultrasound images simultaneously with computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance images in a real-time manner for reference purposes have been reported. These systems have recently been equipped with a needle tip navigation system, making it possible to reliably visualize tumors and determine the needle tip position in a tumor. These developments have enabled the safe treatment of HCC.
Treatment using needle navigation is performed as follows: A Canon APLIO800 ultrasound system is used with a conventional convex probe (PVT-375BT) and a micro-convex probe (PVT-382BT).
The system function is known as Smart Fusion. Ultrasound images can be displayed with volume data from other modalities, such as CT and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), in relation to the positional information using a magnetic sensor. This enables the use of CT/MRI data as reference for accurate puncture and treatment of lesions that are difficult to identify by ultrasound alone. Axis alignment is also completed by displaying the xiphoid process on a CT image and having the system learn the orientation of the probe placed perpendicular to the body axis. Then, landmark alignment is performed and fine-adjusted by aligning a target point near the lesion with the same point as displayed on CT (Fig. 1).
A 7x-year-old woman was found to have elevated tumor markers and a liver tumor identified by regular blood testing and CT performed in August 20xx and was admitted to our hospital for treatment.
Abdominal ultrasonography showed a hypoechoic lesion measuring approximately 3 cm in diameter in liver S6, which led to a diagnosis of HCC. For treatment, microwave therapy was selected at the patient’s request. Microwaves were delivered using a Medtronic Emprint ablation system with a 3.0-cm needle for ablation. During treatment, the needle position was confirmed by needle navigation before ablation (Fig. 2) because the tumor needed to be ablated in an overlapping manner (Fig. 3).
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