Date of Graduation


Document Type

Thesis (MS)

Program Affiliation

Medical Physics

Degree Name

Masters of Science (MS)

Advisor/Committee Chair

R Jason Stafford

Committee Member

John Hazle

Committee Member

Ping Hou

Committee Member

Arvind Rao

Committee Member

Donna Reeve


Cryoablation for small renal tumors has demonstrated sufficient clinical efficacy over the past decade as a non-surgical nephron-sparing approach for treating renal masses for patients who are not surgical candidates. Minimally invasive percutaneous cryoablations have been performed with image guidance from CT, ultrasound, and MRI. During the MRI-guided cryoablation procedure, the interventional radiologist visually compares the iceball size on monitoring images with respect to the original tumor on separate planning images. The comparisons made during the monitoring step are time consuming, inefficient and sometimes lack the precision needed for decision making, requiring the radiologist to make further changes later in the procedure. This study sought to mitigate uncertainty in these visual comparisons by quantifying tissue response to cryoablation and providing visualization of the response during the procedure.

Based on retrospective analysis of MR-guided cryoablation patient data, registration and segmentation algorithms were investigated and implemented for periprocedural visualization to deliver iceball position/size with respect to planning images registered within 3.3mm with at least 70% overlap and a quantitative logit model was developed to relate perfusion deficit in renal parenchyma visualized in verification images as a result of iceball size visualized in monitoring images.

Through retrospective study of 20 patient cases, the relationship between likelihood of perfusion loss in renal parenchyma and distance within iceball was quantified and iteratively fit to a logit curve. Using the parameters from the logit fit, the margin for 95% perfusion loss likelihood was found to be 4.28 mm within the iceball. The observed margin corresponds well with the clinically accepted margin of 3-5mm within the iceball.

In order to display the iceball position and perfusion loss likelihood to the radiologist, algorithms were implemented to create a fast segmentation and registration module which executed in under 2 minutes, within the clinically-relevant 3 minute monitoring period. Using 16 patient cases, the average Hausdorff distance was reduced from 10.1mm to 3.21 mm with average DSC increased from 46.6% to 82.6% before and after registration.


MRI-guided cryoablation, visualization, phase correlation, automated registration, perfusion loss