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A new catheter design using needle electrode for subendocardial RF ablation of ventricular muscles: finite element analysis and in vitro experiments

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7 Author(s)
Eung Je Woo ; Sch. of Electron. & Inf., Kyung Hee Univ., Seoul, South Korea ; Tungjitkusolmun, S. ; Cao, Hong ; Jang-Zern Tsai
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Radio-frequency (RF) cardiac ablation has been very successful for treating arrhythmias related with atrioventricular junction and accessory pathways with successful cure rates of more than 90%. Even though ventricular tachycardia (VT) is a more serious problem, it is known to be rather difficult to cure VT using RF ablation. In order to apply RF ablation to VT, we usually need to create a deeper and wider lesion. Conventional RF ablation electrodes often fail to produce such a lesion. We propose a catheter-electrode design including one or more needle electrodes with a diameter of 0.5-1.0 mm and length of 2.0-10 mm to create a lesion large enough to treat VT. One temperature sensor could be placed at the middle of the needle electrode for temperature-controlled RF ablation. From finite element analyses and in vitro experiments, we found that the depth of a lesion is 1-2 mm deeper than the insertion depth of the needle and the width increases as we increase the diameter of the needle and the time duration. We showed that a single needle electrode can produce a lesion with about 10-mm width and any required depth. If a wider lesion is required, more than one needle with suggested structures can be used. Or, repeated RF ablations around a certain area using one needle could produce a cluster of lesions. In some cases, a catheter with both conventional electrode and needle electrode at its tip may be beneficial to take advantage of both types of electrode.

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Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 1 )