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Thermoablation

Thermoablation is performed with thin laser applicators (laser induced thermotherapy = LITT) or radiofrequency electrodes of a few mm. In every case it is a minimally invasive procedure, i.e. the applicators must be implanted in the lesions under CT or MR guidance. Achieved temperatures are high (up to 90 C), but the thermal gradients are quite steep and the effective range is 1 – 2 cm (i.e. lesions with diameters of 3 – 4 cm are the limit using standard techniques).

Liver metastases (number up to 4) are the most frequent indication. The procedures are typically performed under MR control.