Clinical performance and future potential of magnetic resonance thermometry in hyperthermia

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Hyperthermia treatments in the clinic rely on accurate temperature measurements to guide treatments and evaluate clinical outcome. Currently, magnetic resonance thermometry (MRT) is the only clinical option to non-invasively measure 3D temperature distributions. In this review, we evaluate the status quo and emerging approaches in this evolving technology for replacing conventional dosimetry based on intraluminal or invasively placed probes. First, we define standard-ized MRT performance thresholds, aiming at facilitating transparency in this field when comparing MR temperature mapping performance for the various scenarios that hyperthermia is currently applied in the clinic. This is based upon our clinical experience of treating nearly 4000 patients with superficial and deep hyperthermia. Second, we perform a systematic literature review, assessing MRT performance in (I) clinical and (II) pre-clinical papers. From (I) we identify the current clinical status of MRT, including the problems faced and from (II) we extract promising new techniques with the potential to accelerate progress. From (I) we found that the basic requirements for MRT during hyperthermia in the clinic are largely met for regions without motion, for example extremities. In more challenging regions (abdomen and thorax), progress has been stagnating after the clinical introduction of MRT-guided hyperthermia over 20 years ago. One clear difficulty for advancement is that performance is not or not uniformly reported, but also that studies often omit important details regarding their approach. Motion was found to be the common main issue hindering accurate MRT. Based on (II), we reported and highlighted promising developments to tackle the issues resulting from motion (directly or indirectly), including new developments as well as optimization of already existing strategies. Combined, these may have the potential to facilitate improvement in MRT in the form of more stable and reliable measurements via better stability and accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the KWF, project number 11368.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Li-censee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Research programs

  • EMC OR-01


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