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Radiofrequency Ablation of the thyroid

Radiofrequency ablation 

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive technique used for treating various diseases in the human body. Utilizing a frequency alternating current heat is generated that can destroy the target tissue. The focus for M3i is on liver and thyroid tumour ablation guided by ultrasound and/or optical modalities.

Project goal thyroid ablation

Evaluation and improvement of the benign thyroid tumour radiofrequency ablation therapy.


Up to 68% of the population has a thyroid nodule (tumour), most of these are benign and cause no discomfort. However for some patients the nodule can grow too big resulting in symptoms being experienced such as swallowing and breathing difficulties as well as cosmetic complaints, amongst others. The benign thyroid tumour radiofrequency ablation therapy is a new treatment option introduced in the Netherlands late 2016 (first one in South-Korea in 2002). Offering a very elegant and almost scar-free option for patients, albeit minimally invasive, it is not without risk.

Using 2D ultrasound gives the radiologist a real-time view of the needle and the ablation area. Though the calculation what the size and volume of the thyroid and its tumour are as well as the subsequent ablation area is merely performed by rough estimation.


Being able to objectively measure those volumes might give an indication as to what clinical outcome can be expected, thereby giving the radiologist a tool to evaluate whether the desired ablation percentage during treatment has been reached or not.


  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
  • Benign thyroid tumour
  • Ultrasound (2D, 3D and real-time 3D)
  • Deep learning
  • Elastography (Shear wave, strain, acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI))


  • MultiModality Medical Imaging group (TechMed Centre)
  • Ziekenhuis Groep Twente hospital

If you are interested in a master or bachelor assignment related to the above mentioned topics, please contact Tim Boers (