Thermochemical ablation in an ex-vivo porcine liver model using acetic acid and sodium hydroxide: Proof of concept

Joseph L. Farnam, Benjamin C. Smith, Brandon R. Johnson, Rodolfo Estrada, Theresa L. Edelman, Rina Farah, Erik N.K. Cressman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To establish proof of concept in tissue, using the exothermic neutralization reaction of acetic acid and sodium hydroxide in ex vivo porcine liver and to conduct an initial probe into the relationships of volume and concentration of reagents to temperatures and the areas affected. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 0.5 mL or 2 mL of either 5 mole/L or 10 mole/L acid and base solutions was injected simultaneously into the periphery of ex vivo porcine liver using a prototype injection device. Tissue temperature was recorded at the injection site for 5 minutes using a type T thermocouple temperature probe inserted parallel to and near the tip of the injection device. The injections were repeated for infrared thermography, and ablated tissues were sectioned quickly and imaged. A gross photograph was captured in each case to provide correlation. RESULTS: Maximum temperatures (17°C baseline) ranged from 42.1° ±α3.34°C to 61.7° ±α10°C (P<.05) when injecting 0.5 mL of 5 mole/L reactants and 2 mL of 10 mole/L reactants, respectively. The maximum temperature measured by infrared imaging ranged from 31°-47°C. Using an infrared viewing scale from 19°-40°C, the cross-sectional area of tissue heating above baseline measured from 1.07 cm2± 0.45 to 4.95 cm2± 0.28 (P <05). CONCLUSIONS: The reaction of acetic acid and sodium hydroxide releases significant heat energy at the site of injection, and histologic changes are consistent with coagulation necrosis. Increased reagent concentration and volume were associated with larger temperature changes and larger areas of hyperthermia at gross pathology and infrared imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1573-1578
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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