Computerized tomographic imaging of cryosurgical iceball formation in brain

Richard P. Moser, Ira R. Abbott, Clifton L. Stephens, Ya Yen Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Computerized tomography (CT) was used to monitor the exact anatomical location and dimensions of the cryosurgical iceball within the brain. The gross and microscopic appearance of the tissue iceball was examined in both acute and chronic animals. Iceball formation was monitored in the brain of four dogs under a general anesthesia. The radiographic image of the iceball was that of a well-demarcated radiolucent sphere that disappeared upon thawing. The post-thaw contrast-enhanced CT scan revealed a zone of blood-brain barrier breakdown extending no more than 1 mm beyond the maximum diameter that the iceball had attained. Histological examination demonstrated a sharp transition from frankly necrotic brain within the iceball to the normal cytoarchitecture of the surrounding neuropil. The safety and efficacy of a neurosurgical ablative procedure depends on the precision with which it can be generated. The use of CT imaging to monitor the formation of the cryosurgical iceball offers the neurosurgeon a means to precisely control the size of the ablative lesion. Small deeply situated brain tumors can be incorporated into the iceball under direct CT observation, thereby ensuring the completeness of the cryoablation while minimizing damage to the surrounding brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-375
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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