Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Transcatheter radiofrequency (RF) ablation of atrial fibrillation or flutter requires the creation of linear lesions. However, conventional catheters are not predictably effective because of poor endocardial contact, and limited lesion size and penetration. The purpose of the study was to assess, in the right atrium, the efficacy and safety of a new catheter designed to create long myocardial tissue lesions using RF energy. The main characteristics of this 8 Fr deflectable RF ablation catheter were: (1) a perpendicularly contacting articulated bilimb electrodes ensuring stable and firm endocardial firm contact; and (2) an irrigated planar interface. Three different electrode prototypes were tested. Fourteen anesthetized sheep weighing 61 ± 7 kg underwent RF ablation in the right atrium using three incremental power levels (25 to 45, 50, 55 to 75 W) with the aim of creating fully transmural (FT) lesions, defined as continuous and complete epicardial and endocardial lesion imprints. The animals were euthanized 1 hour later for macroscopic and histologic examinations. Forty-three of the 80 right atrial lesions created, in smooth as well as in trabeculated areas, were FT. The percentage of FT lesions increased with the applied power from 37% with 25–45 W, to 49% with 50 W, and up to 86% for 55–75 W. In all but two cases, histologic examination showed no discontinuity between FT lesions produced by both limbs resulting in 19 coalescent linear lesions with an average size of 25 × 6 × 4 mm (length × width × depth). In situ bipolar electrograms after ablation in the FT group showed split potentials and/or a marked decrease in amplitude from 2.85 ± 1.79 to 0.33 ± 0.14 mV (P = 0.001) accompanied by near complete disappearance of unipolar electrograms. There was no perforation due to RF ablation. In conclusion, continuous and FT lesions can be achieved in various areas of sheep atria, including the trabecular right atrium, with a perpendicularly contacting bilimb electrode catheter. It represents a promising tool for catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation and flutter.
Type of Medium: