Temperature-controlled and constant-power radio-frequency ablation: what affects lesion growth?
Radio-frequency (RF) catheter ablation is the primary interventional therapy for the treatment of many cardiac tachyarrhythmias. Three-dimensional finite element analysis of constant-power (CPRFA) and temperature-controlled RF ablation (TCRFA) of the endocardium is performed. The objectives are to study: 1) the lesion growth with time and 2) the effect of ground electrode location on lesion dimensions and ablation efficiency. The results indicate that: a) for TCRFA: i) lesion growth was fastest during the first 20 s, subsequently the lesion growth slowed reaching a steady state after 100 s, ii) positioning the ground electrode directly opposite the catheter tip (optimal) produced a larger lesion, and iii) a constant tip temperature maintained a constant maximum tissue temperature; b) for CPRFA: i) the lesion growth was fastest during the first 20 s and then the lesion growth slowed; however, the lesion size did not reach steady state even after 600 s suggesting that longer durations of energy delivery may result in wider and deeper lesions, ii) the temperature-dependent electrical conductivity of the tissue is responsible for this continuous lesion growth, and iii) an optimal ground electrode location resulted in a slightly larger lesion and higher ablation efficiency.
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