Light energy from a laser source that is delivered into body tissue via a fiber-optic probe with minimal invasiveness has been used to ablate solid tumors. This thermal coagulation process can be guided and monitored accurately by continuous magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) since the laser energy delivery system does not interfere with MRI. This report deals with mathematical modeling and analysis of laser coagulation of tissue. This model is intended for “real-time” analysis of magnetic resonance images obtained during the coagulation process to guide clinical treatment. A mathematical model is developed to simulate the thermal response of tissue to a laser light heating source. For fast simulation, an approximate solution of the thermal model is used to predict the dynamics of temperature distribution and tissue damage induced by a laser energy line source. The validity of these simulations is tested by comparison with MRI-based temperature data acquired from in vivo experiments in rabbits. The model-simulated temperature distribution and predicted lesion dynamics correspond closely with MRI-based data. These results demonstrate the potential for using this combination of fast modeling and MRI technologies during laser heating of tissue for online prediction of tumor lesion size during laser heating.