Pennes Bio Heat Transfer Equation (PBHTE) has been widely used to approximate the overall temperature distribution in tissue using a perfusion parameter term in the equation during hyperthermia treatment. In the similar modeling, effective thermal conductivity (Keff) model uses thermal conductivity as a parameter to predict temperatures. However the equations do not describe the thermal contribution of blood vessels. A countercurrent vascular network model which represents a more fundamental approach to modeling temperatures in tissue than do the generally used approximate equations such as the Pennes BHTE or effective thermal conductivity equations was presented in 1996. This type of model is capable of calculating the blood temperature in vessels and describing a vasculature in the tissue regions.
In this paper, a countercurrent blood vessel network (CBVN) model for calculating tissue temperatures has been developed for studying hyperthermia cancer treatment. We use a systematic approach to reveal the impact of a vasculature of blood vessels against a single vessel which most studies have presented. A vasculature illustrates branching vessels at the periphery of the tumor volume. The general trends present in this vascular model are similar to those shown for physiological systems in Green and Whitmore. The 3-D temperature distributions are obtained by solving the conduction equation in the tissue and the convective energy equation with specified Nusselt number in the vessels.
This paper investigates effects of size of blood vessels in the CBVN model on total absorbed power in the treated region and blood flow rates (or perfusion rate) in the CBVN on temperature distributions during hyperthermia cancer treatment. Also, the same optimized power distribution during hyperthermia treatment is used to illustrate the differences between PBHTE and CBVN models. Keff (effective thermal conductivity model) delivers the same difference as compared to the CBVN model. The optimization used here is adjusting power based on the local temperature in the treated region in an attempt to reach the ideal therapeutic temperature of 43 degrees C. The scheme can be used (or adapted) in a non-invasive power supply application such as high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). Results show that, for low perfusion rates in CBVN model vessels, impacts on tissue temperature becomes insignificant. Uniform temperature in the treated region is obtained.
Therefore, any method that could decrease or prevent blood flow rates into the tumorous region is recommended as a pre-process to hyperthermia cancer treatment. Second, the size of vessels in vasculatures does not significantly affect on total power consumption during hyperthermia therapy when the total blood flow rate is constant. It is about 0.8% decreasing in total optimized absorbed power in the heated region as gamma (the ratio of diameters of successive vessel generations) increases from 0.6 to 0.7, or from 0.7 to 0.8, or from 0.8 to 0.9. Last, in hyperthermia treatments, when the heated region consists of thermally significant vessels, much of absorbed power is required to heat the region and (provided that finer spatial power deposition exists) to heat vessels which could lead to higher blood temperatures than tissue temperatures when modeled them using PBHTE.