Accuracy and efficacy of percutaneous biopsy and ablation using robotic assistance under computed tomography guidance: A phantom study

Yilun Koethe, Sheng Xu, Gnanasekar Velusamy, Bradford J. Wood, Aradhana M. Venkatesan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare the accuracy of a robotic interventional radiologist (IR) assistance platform with a standard freehand technique for computed-tomography (CT)-guided biopsy and simulated radiofrequency ablation (RFA). Methods: The accuracy of freehand single-pass needle insertions into abdominal phantoms was compared with insertions facilitated with the use of a robotic assistance platform (n = 20 each). Post-procedural CTs were analysed for needle placement error. Percutaneous RFA was simulated by sequentially placing five 17-gauge needle introducers into 5-cm diameter masses (n = 5) embedded within an abdominal phantom. Simulated ablations were planned based on pre-procedural CT, before multi-probe placement was executed freehand. Multi-probe placement was then performed on the same 5-cm mass using the ablation planning software and robotic assistance. Post-procedural CTs were analysed to determine the percentage of untreated residual target. Results: Mean needle tip-to-target errors were reduced with use of the IR assistance platform (both P < 0.0001). Reduced percentage residual tumour was observed with treatment planning (P = 0.02). Conclusion: Improved needle accuracy and optimised probe geometry are observed during simulated CT-guided biopsy and percutaneous ablation with use of a robotic IR assistance platform. This technology may be useful for clinical CT-guided biopsy and RFA, when accuracy may have an impact on outcome. Key points:: • A recently developed robotic intervention radiology assistance platform facilitates CT-guided interventions. • Improved accuracy of complex needle insertions is achievable. • IR assistance platform use can improve target ablation coverage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-730
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Ablation techniques
  • Image-guided biopsy
  • Interventional radiology
  • Robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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