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Intraprocedural Transcatheter Intraarterial Perfusion (TRIP)-MRI for Evaluation of Irreversible Electroporation Therapy Response in a Rabbit Liver Tumor Model.

  • Author(s): Shangguan, Anna J;
  • Zhou, Kang;
  • Yang, Jia;
  • Eresen, Aydin;
  • Wang, Bin;
  • Sun, Chong;
  • Pan, Liang;
  • Hu, Su;
  • Khan, Ali T;
  • Mouli, Samdeep K;
  • Yaghmai, Vahid;
  • Zhang, Zhuoli
  • et al.


Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is a promising new ablation method for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treatment with few side-effects; however, tissue perfusion and differentiation between treatment zones have not been sufficiently studied. In this project, we analyzed HCC tumor perfusion changes immediately after IRE treatment using transcatheter intraarterial perfusion (TRIP)-MRI to monitor treatment zone margins.

Materials and methods

All protocols were approved by the institutional animal care and use committee. A total of 34 rabbits were used for this prospective study: tumor liver group (n=17), normal liver group (n=14), and 3 for growing VX2 tumors. All procedures and imaging were performed under anesthesia. VX2 tumors were grown by injection of VX2 cells into rabbit hindlimbs. Liver tumors were induced by percutaneous US-guided injection of VX2 tumor fragments into liver. For digital subtraction angiography (DSA), a 2F catheter was advanced through left hepatic artery via femoral artery access, followed by contrast injection. All rabbits underwent baseline anatomic MRI, then IRE procedure or IRE probe placement only, and lastly post-procedure anatomic and TRIP-MRI. Liver tissues were dissected immediately after imaging for histology. All statistical analyses were performed on GraphPad Prism, with P<0.05 considered significant.


IRE generated central IRE zone and peripheral reversible electroporation (RE) zone on anatomic MRI for both normal liver and liver tumor tissues. The semiquantitative analysis showed that IRE zone had the lowest AUC, PE, WIS, Ktrans, ve , and vp as well as the highest TTP, followed by RE zone, then untreated tissues. Receiver operating characteristic analysis showed that WIS and AUC60 had the highest AUCROC. Histologic analysis showed a positive correlation in viable area fraction between MRI and histologic measurements. IRE zone had the highest %apoptosis and lowest CD31+ staining.


Our results demonstrated that intraprocedural TRIP-MRI can effectively differentiate IRE and RE zones after IRE ablation in normal liver and liver tumor tissues.

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