Experimental Validation of Computational Models of Microwave Tissue Heating with Magnetic Resonance Thermometry

Microwave systems are in clinical use for thermal therapy applications, including: tumor ablation; moderate hyperthermia adjuvant to ionizing radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy; and tissue reshaping. Computational models of microwave heating play an important role in the design and optimization of novel devices and comparative assessment of energy delivery strategies, and are under development for patient-specific treatment planning. Experimental characterization of microwave thermal therapy models is often limited to comparison of simulated temperature profiles against transient temperature profiles measured at a few discrete locations with point temperature sensors. Here, we present an experimental platform integrating a microwave thermal therapy system with 14.1 T high-field MRI for validation of computational models of microwave tissue heating. For 15–30 W microwave exposure over 5 min, maximum discrepancy between simulations and experiment was 1.1°C; maximum discrepancy in simulated and measured depth and width of the heated zone were 1.4 mm and 0.3 mm, respectively.