Investigations of large vessel cooling during interstitial laser heating
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Interstitial laser heating of tissues is influenced by blood flow in the treatment region. Temperature gradients around large blood vessels may result in local underheating of tissues. A three-dimensional, time-dependent finite difference model of interstitial laser heating around large vessels is presented. A thermal conduction model was developed using a transport theory approximation for the energy distribution from an optical line source. Calculated transient temperature profiles and temperature reductions around 0.144 and 0.400 cm diam vessels show qualitative agreement with those measured in a series of tissue phantom studies. Experiments and calculations for a large vessel located approximately 1.0 cm from the optical source indicate that temperature reductions are less than 1 degree C at distances greater than approximately 1.0 cm from the vessel surface. The model also indicates that significant reductions in the extent of a thermal coagulation boundary can occur if a large vessel is situated inside the normal coagulation zone.
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