In Vivo Assessment of Radio Frequency Induced Thermal Damage of Kidney Using Optical Spectroscopy

Dipen J. Parekh, Lin Wei Chiang, S. Duke Herrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: Radio frequency ablation is a promising modality for treating small renal tumors. Several studies have been published showing its efficacy. A major drawback in the current management of renal tumors with radio frequency ablation is the lack of an effective modality to accurately monitor the progress of the ablation zone in real-time fashion. Previous studies have demonstrated the feasibility of using optical spectroscopy to assess tissue thermal damage, especially in hepatic lesions. We examined the feasibility of this technology in the setting of renal radio frequency ablation. Materials and Methods: A portable spectroscopic system was used to acquire in vivo fluorescence and diffuse reflectance spectra from porcine renal tissue undergoing radio frequency ablation in real-time fashion with simultaneous temperature recordings. Fluorescence and diffuse reflectance spectral data were then correlated with various degrees of thermal damage and temperature recordings. Results: The most noticeable change in fluorescence characteristics of renal tissue resulting from thermal coagulation was a strong decrease in fluorescence intensity between 400 and 550 nm. When fully coagulated, a significant increase in diffuse reflectance intensity was observed between 500 and 800 nm. Conclusions: Optical spectroscopy, specifically fluorescence and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, differs significantly in porcine renal tissues with varying degrees of thermal damage from radio frequency ablation in an in vivo setting. Future clinical studies with sufficient sample size are required to validate the potential of these findings. Optical diagnostics may prove to be a rapid, noninvasive, low cost option for monitoring the tumor response to radio frequency based ablative techniques. It may be integrated into future radio frequency ablation probes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1626-1630
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • catheter ablation
  • kidney
  • kidney neoplasms
  • spectrum analysis
  • swine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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