MRI Guided Laser Ablation (Laser Interstitial Thermotherapy (LITT))

MRI guided laser ablation or laser interstitial thermotherapy (LITT) is an innovative and minimally invasive treatment for brain tumors, epilepsy, and other brain lesions. This treatment involves computer-assisted placement of a laser probe into the brain and delivery of heat therapy. During the treatment, the patient is in MRI for monitoring of the margins of heat delivery. LITT allows for minimally invasive treatment for deep brain lesions. Most patients are treated without general anesthesia and are discharged home the day after treatment.

Dr. Bova and Rahman Demonstrate Laser Ablation Procedure

Dr. Bova (left) and Dr. Rahman (right) demonstrate placement of a headring and laser probe as used in the LITT procedure.

 

Probe Visualization

The laser probe tip can be seen in light blue figure above, and the resulting heat therapy visualized by the heatmap.

The LITT team includes Dr. RahmanDr. RoperDr. Murad, Dr. Bova and the OR and MRI staff. The collaborative approach to LITT at UF results in the optimal experience for patients. The process is continuously being improved at UF including:

  1. Pre-planning with custom-made face masks for stereotactic targeting
  2. Accurate stereotactic placement of the laser probe allowing for the procedure to be completed quickly and efficiently
  3. Custom-made head fixation during the delivery of laser ablation that allows that patient to avoid prolonged general anesthesia

LITT can also be combined with other novel therapies and has lead to exciting new trials for brain tumor patients at the University of Florida lead by our neuro-oncologists (Dr. Tran and Dr. Ghiaseddin).

Watch LITT in action: see how the laser probe heats the surrounding (tumor) tissue in the video clip below: