Fast thermal simulations and temperature optimization for hyperthermia treatment planning, including realistic 3D vessel networks
Accurate thermal simulations in hyperthermia treatment planning require discrete modeling of large blood vessels. The very long computation time of the finite difference based DIscrete VAsculature model (DIVA) developed for this purpose is impractical for clinical applications. In this work, a fast steady-state thermal solver was developed for simulations with realistic 3D vessel networks. Additionally, an efficient temperature-based optimization method including the thermal effect of discrete vasculature was developed.
The steady-state energy balance for vasculature and tissue was described by a linear system, which was solved with an iterative method on the graphical processing unit. Temperature calculations during optimization were performed by superposition of several precomputed temperature distributions, calculated with the developed thermal solver. The thermal solver and optimization were applied to a human anatomy, with the prostate being the target region, heated with the eight waveguide 70 MHz AMC-8 system. Realistic 3D pelvic vasculature was obtained from angiography. Both the arterial and venous vessel networks consisted of 174 segments and 93 endpoints with a diameter of 1.2 mm.
Calculation of the steady-state temperature distribution lasted about 3.3 h with the original DIVA model, while the newly developed method took only ∼1–1.5 min. Temperature-based optimization with and without taking the vasculature into account showed differences in optimized waveguide power of more than a factor 2 and optimized tumor T90 differed up to ∼0.5 °C. This shows the necessity to take discrete vasculature into account during optimization.
A very fast method was developed for thermal simulations with realistic 3D vessel networks. The short simulation time allows online calculations and makes temperature optimization with realistic vasculature feasible, which is an important step forward in hyperthermia treatment planning.