EUS-guided radiofrequency ablation of the porcine pancreas

Gastrointest Endosc. 2012 Nov;76(5):1039-43. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2012.07.015.


Background: EUS-guided radiofrequency ablation (EUS-RFA) could be used as an adjunct and effective alternative mode of treatment for unresectable locally advanced and nonmetastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma. However, its translation into clinical practice has been restricted because of limited data and high procedure-related risk.

Objective: To evaluate the feasibility, efficacy, and safety of EUS-RFA in the normal porcine pancreas.

Design: Prospective, endoscopic, experimental study in a porcine model.

Setting: Tertiary-care referral center animal laboratory.

Patients: Animal study.

Intervention: EUS-RFA of the pancreas was attempted on 10 adult mini pigs. An 18-gauge endoscopic RFA electrode was used to puncture the body and tail of the pancreas, with an output power of 50 W for 5 minutes.

Main outcome measurements: The feasibility, efficacy, and safety of EUS-RFA.

Results: A spherical necrotic lesion surrounded by fibrous tissue localized in the pancreatic parenchyma was observed on histopathologic examination. The mean diameter of the ablated tissue was 23.0 ± 6.9 mm. No major procedure-related complications were noted, and all pigs survived without any distress behavioral pattern for 7 days until autopsy.

Limitations: Small sample size with short-term observation and the lack of evaluation of the head of the pancreas.

Conclusion: EUS-RFA of the pancreatic body and tail was feasible, effective, and relatively safe in a porcine model. More animal studies to assess damage to adjacent organs are required before human trials can be conducted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catheter Ablation / adverse effects
  • Catheter Ablation / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Pancreas / surgery*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Swine
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional* / adverse effects