MR of the abdomen showing liver and kidneys – frontal (coronal view)
… Physicians at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus are among the first in the nation to use a technique known as MRI-guided laser ablation to heat up and destroy kidney and liver tumors. So far, five patients have been successfully treated — meaning no visible tumors remained after the procedure.
They join their colleagues at Mayo Clinic’s site in Rochester, Minn., who were the first to use laser ablation on patients with recurrent prostate tumors.
Although the treatment techniques are in the development stage, the physicians say the treatment is potentially beneficial against most tumors in the body — either primary or metastatic — as long as there are only a few in an organ and they are each less than 5 centimeters in size (about 2 inches in diameter). Patients also cannot have a pacemaker or certain metallic implants, since the procedure is done inside an MRI machine.
“Laser ablation offers us a way to precisely target and kill tumors without harming the rest of an organ. We believe there are a lot of potential uses of this technique — which is quite exciting,” says Eric Walser, M.D., an interventional radiologist who has pioneered the technique at Mayo Clinic, Florida. …
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.
MR imaging uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor, transmitted electronically, printed or copied to a CD. MRI does not use ionizing radiation (x-rays).
Detailed MR images allow physicians to better evaluate various parts of the body and determine the presence of certain diseases that may not be assessed adequately with other imaging methods such as x-ray, ultrasound or computed tomography (also called CT or CAT scanning).