Efficient Lattice Boltzmann Solver for Patient-Specific Radiofrequency Ablation of Hepatic Tumors

Chloé Audigier, Tommaso Mansi, Hervé Delingette, Saikiran Rapaka, Viorel Mihalef, Daniel Carnegie, Emad Boctor, Michael Choti, Ali Kamen, Nicholas Ayache, Dorin Comaniciu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is an established treatment for liver cancer when resection is not possible. Yet, its optimal delivery is challenged by the presence of large blood vessels and the time-varying thermal conductivity of biological tissue. Incomplete treatment and an increased risk of recurrence are therefore common. A tool that would enable the accurate planning of RFA is hence necessary. This manuscript describes a new method to compute the extent of ablation required based on the Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) and patient-specific, pre-operative images. A detailed anatomical model of the liver is obtained from volumetric images. Then a computational model of heat diffusion, cellular necrosis, and blood flow through the vessels and liver is employed to compute the extent of ablated tissue given the probe location, ablation duration and biological parameters. The model was verified against an analytical solution, showing good fidelity. We also evaluated the predictive power of the proposed framework on ten patients who underwent RFA, for whom pre- and post-operative images were available. Comparisons between the computed ablation extent and ground truth, as observed in postoperative images, were promising (DICE index: 42%, sensitivity: 67%, positive predictive value: 38%). The importance of considering liver perfusion while simulating electrical-heating ablation was also highlighted. Implemented on graphics processing units (GPU), our method simulates 1 minute of ablation in 1.14 minutes, allowing near real-time computation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7047845
Pages (from-to)1576-1589
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE transactions on medical imaging
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Lattice Boltzmann method
  • heat transfer
  • patient-specific simulation
  • radio frequency ablation
  • therapy planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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