Epicardial Ablation on the Beating Heart: Limited Efficacy of a Novel, Cooled Radiofrequency Ablation Device. Innovations (Philadelphia, Pa.) Lee, A. M., Aziz, A., Sakamoto, S. I., Schuessler, R. B., Damiano, R. J. 2009; 4 (2): 86-92


OBJECTIVE: To perform a minimally invasive procedure for atrial fibrillation without cardiopulmonary bypass, it is necessary to create transmural lesions on the beating heart. Although bipolar radiofrequency clamps can isolate the pulmonary veins, they have difficulty in performing any other left atrial lesions, particularly those of the traditional Cox-Maze procedure. This study examined the performance of an internally cooled, bipolar radiofrequency device designed for such an application. METHODS: Eleven domestic pigs underwent median sternotomy. Five animals had eight atrial lesions created with the radiofrequency device at times of 20, 30, 40, and 50 seconds. In six other pigs, the device was compared with another technology that has been used clinically for epicardial, beating heart ablation, the Guidant Flex 4 microwave device. The tissue was stained with 2,3,5-triphenyl-tetrazoluim chloride, and the lesions were sectioned at 5-mm intervals. Lesion width, depth, and transmurality were evaluated. RESULTS: The radiofrequency device had a linear dose-response relationship. Lesions were wider and deeper with increasing ablation times. A total of 40%, 45%, 60%, and 67% of lesions were transmural at times of 20, 30, 40, and 50 seconds, respectively. Ninety-one percent of lesions in tissue up to 4-mm thick were transmural after 50 seconds. However, performance in thicker tissue was poor. Lesions created by the device were deeper and more likely to be transmural than the Flex 4. CONCLUSIONS: This internally cooled, bipolar radiofrequency device can reliably create transmural lesions on tissue up to 4-mm thick and performs better than a microwave device.

View details for DOI 10.1097/IMI.0b013e3181a348a2

View details for PubMedID 22323899

View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3273869