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A finite element model was developed to simulate transient temperature distributions produced by radiofrequency catheter ablation. This model incorporated blood, myocardium and torso tissues. The Laplace equation was solved to determine the electric field. The heat generation in the tissues was then computed from the power deposition profile and the bioheat equation was solved to determine the transient temperature distribution, taking into account the convective energy exchange at the blood-myocardium and torso-air interfaces. This model has been used to evaluate some of the factors that influence the thermally-induced damage to the myocardium.