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Power deposition [specific absorption rate (SAR)] distributions from a two-element array configuration of 4-cm-square 915-MHz dual concentric conductor (DCC) microwave antennas were characterized theoretically for several clinically realistic complex bolus-tissue load models using the finite difference time domain (FDTD) numerical method. The purpose of this effort was to determine the perturbing effects on SAR of three often unavoidable heterogeneities in the bolus-tissue load. The three cases studied in this work consist of bone (two ribs spaced 1 cm apart) embedded 5-mm or 1-cm deep in muscle or layered fat-muscle tissue, small air bubbles trapped between the coupling bolus and tissue surface, and variable thickness water bolus layer due to sharply contoured anatomy. Results of the FDTD simulations demonstrate rather small effects on SAR distribution for both rib-sized bones ≥5-mm deep in muscle and small air pockets ≤1-mm thick. Larger air bubbles >1-cm diameter by 3-mm depth showed a distinct concentration of SAR near the lateral sides of the air bubbles, and a blocking effect under the bubbles when located directly under the center of a DCC aperture where there is a higher normal E-field component. Variation from 2.5- to 7.5-mm bolus thickness under the two aperture array produced only minor perturbation of the uniformity and penetration of SAR, along with minor reduction in SAR under the thicker bolus which should be accommodated sufficiently by changes in applied power to the array elements.
Date of Publication: Nov. 1999