During radiofrequency (RF) catheter ablation of arrhythmias, temperatures that approach 100 degrees C cause a coagulum to form on the ablation electrode that results in an increase in electrical impedance and prevents further energy delivery. Since gold has nearly four times the thermal conductivity as platinum, the metal commonly used, it was postulated that gold tip electrodes could deliver more power and produce deeper lesions because of its greater heat dissipation from the electrode-tissue interface to the circulating blood. To test this hypothesis, RF energy was applied to fresh bovine ventricular myocardium using 6 French catheters with 2-mm long distal electrodes made from gold or platinum. Similar studies were also conducted using 7 French catheters with 4-mm long distal electrodes. Maximum lesion depth was defined as that produced with the level of energy just below that causing an impedance rise. A maximum lesion depth of 6.2 +/- 0.7 mm (mean +/- SD) was obtained with the gold 2-mm electrode and 4.7 +/- 0.5 mm with the platinum electrode (P = 0.003). The 4-mm gold electrode produced a maximum lesion depth of 7.2 +/- 1.4 mm, while a catheter with a 4-mm platinum electrode caused a maximum lesion depth of 5.8 +/- 0.7 mm (P = 0.05). We conclude that deeper lesions should be able to be made when RF energy is delivered to a gold rather than platinum tip electrode.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996UD73300003
View details for PubMedID 8848386