Department of Radiology, Hôpital d'Annecy, 1 avenue de l'Hôpital, 74374 Metz-Tessy, France; ICUBE Laboratory, Université de Strasbourg, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Strasbourg, France. Electronic address: [Email]
OBJECTIVE : To evaluate the accuracy of a fusion imaging guidance system using ultrasound (US) and computerized tomography (CT) as a real-time imaging modality for the positioning of a 22-gauge needle in the liver. METHODS : The spatial coordinates of 23 spinal needles placed at the border of hepatic tumors before radiofrequency thermal ablation were determined in 23 patients. Needles were inserted up to the border of the tumor with the use of CT-US fusion imaging. A control CT scan was carried out to compare real (x, y, z) and virtual (x', y', z') coordinates of the tip of the needle (D for distal) and of a point on the needle located 3 cm proximally to the tip (P for proximal). RESULTS : The mean Euclidian distances were 8.5 ± 4.7 mm and 10.5 ± 5.3 mm for D and P, respectively. The absolute value of mean differences of the 3 coordinates (|x' - x|, |y' - y|, and |z' - z|) were 4.06 ± 0.9, 4.21 ± 0.84, and 4.89 ± 0.89 mm for D and 3.96 ± 0.60, 4.41 ± 0.86, and 7.66 ± 1.27 mm for P. X = |x' - x| and Y = |y' - y| coordinates were <7 mm with a probability close to 1. Z = |z' - z| coordinate was not considered to be larger nor smaller than 7 mm (probability >7 mm close to 50%). CONCLUSIONS : Positioning errors with the use of US-CT fusion imaging used in this study are not negligible for the insertion of a 22-gauge needle in the liver. Physicians must be aware of such possible errors to adapt the treatment when used for thermal ablation.