In vitro temperature map of cardiac ablation demonstrates the effect of flow on lesion development.
This paper presents an in vitro temperature mapping study of bovine cardiac tissue during radiofrequency ablation. The objectives were to: (i) develop a technique for measuring the spatial and temporal temperature distribution in the tissue and in the blood during ablation, and (ii) use the temperature measurements to characterize the effects of fluid flow on lesion dimensions, ablation efficiency, and temperature distributions. In vitro ablation (20 W, 60 s) of bovine cardiac tissue was performed. The tissue was placed in a saline-dextrose solution maintained at 37+/- 0.5 degrees C. The solution also irrigated the tissue surface and simulated blood flow velocities of (i) 30, (ii) 55, and (iii) 85 mm/s. Thermocouple measurements were recorded from 25 and 2 locations in the tissue and in the fluid, respectively. The lowest flow resulted in the largest lesion, the maximum tissue, fluid, and electrode temperature increases, and the highest ablation efficiency. The lesions were 5.8 +/- 0.81, 4.8 +/- 0.84, and 4.4 +/- 1.25 mm deep, and 9.3 +/- 1.07, 7.9 +/- 1.48, and 7.8 +/- 1.27 mm wide for flows (i)-(iii), respectively. The blood and tissue temperature distributions were asymmetric around the ablating electrode axis with higher temperatures on the outflow than on the inflow side. The experimental measurements were used to validate a numeric model of ablation in an accompanying paper.
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