In this paper, we report on the characterization of microwave therapy of normal porcine kidneys both in vitro and in vivo. This technology is being developed for eventual use in the treatment of small renal cell carcinoma (RCC) by minimally invasive procedures. During experiments, microwave energy was applied through an interstitial microwave probe (Urologix, Plymouth, MN) to the kidney cortex with occasional involvement of the kidney medulla. The thermal histories at several locations were recorded. After treatment, the kidneys were bisected and small tissue slices were cut out at approximately the same depth as the thermal probes. The tissue slices were further processed for histological study. Both cellular injury and the area of microvascular stasis were quantitatively evaluated by histology. Absolute rate kinetic models of cellular injury and vascular stasis were developed and fit to this data. A 3-D finite element thermal model based on the Pennes Bioheat equation was developed and solved using a commercial software package (ANSYS, V5.7). The Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of the microwave probe was measured experimentally in tissue equivalent gel-like solution. The thermal model was first validated by the measured in vitro thermal histories. It was then used to determine the blood perfusion term in vivo.

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