Heat transfer due to electroconvulsive therapy: influence of anisotropic thermal and electrical skull conductivity

Menezes de Oliveira, Marilia and Wen, Peng and Ahfock, Tony (2016) Heat transfer due to electroconvulsive therapy: influence of anisotropic thermal and electrical skull conductivity. Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, 133. pp. 71-81. ISSN 0169-2607


Background and objectives: This paper focuses on electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and head models to investigate temperature profiles arising when anisotropic thermal and electrical conductivities are considered in the skull layer. The aim was to numerically investigate the threshold for which this therapy operates safely to the brain, from the thermal point of view.

Methods: A six-layer spherical head model consisting of scalp, fat, skull, cerebro-spinal fluid, grey matter and white matter was developed. Later on, a realistic human head model was also implemented. These models were built up using the packages from COMSOL Inc. and Simpleware Ltd. In these models, three of the most common electrode montages used in ECT were applied. Anisotropic conductivities were derived using volume constraint and included in both spherical and realistic head models.The bio-heat transferring problem governed by Laplace equation was solved numerically.

Results: The results show that both the tensor eigenvalues of electrical conductivity and the electrode montage affect the maximum temperature, but thermal anisotropy does not have a significant influence.Temperature increases occur mainly in the scalp and fat, and no harm is caused to the brain by the current applied during ECT.

Conclusions: The work assures the thermal safety of ECT and also provides a numerical method to investigate other non-invasive therapies.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2016 02:01
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2016 05:23
Uncontrolled Keywords: ECT; temperature; anisotropy; head model; finite element method
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0903 Biomedical Engineering > 090399 Biomedical Engineering not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.cmpb.2016.05.022
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/29364

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