The efficacy of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) treatments depends on the ability to ablate tumors completely while minimizing the damage to healthy tissue. Tissue cooling due to blood flow is an important factor affecting the size and shape of the ablation lesion. In this paper a new methodology for finite element modeling of the coupled electrical-thermal-flow process during RFA is presented. Our formulation treats heat losses due to blood flow explicitly rather than approximating the collective effects of blood vessles as a heat sink. Numerical models were compared to in vitro models using egg whites to simulate human tissue and a straight cylinder filled with a saline solution to simulate blood. Asymmetric burns were obtained close to the simulated blood vessels. Numerical results closely match the in vitro models.

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