Purpose: Although bipolar radiofrequency (RF) ablation (RFA) is broadly used to eliminate ventricular tachycardias in the interventricular septum wall, it can fail to create transmural lesions in thick ventricular walls. To solve this problem, we explored whether an RF-energised guidewire inserted into the ventricular wall would enhance bipolar RFA in the creation of transmural lesions through the ventricular wall.
Methods: We built three-dimensional computational models including two irrigated electrodes placed on opposing sides of the interventricular septum and a metal guidewire inserted into the septum. Computer simulations were conducted to compare the temperature distributions obtained with two ablation modes: bipolar mode (RF power delivered between both irrigated electrode) and time-division multiplexing (TDM) technique, which consists of activating the bipolar mode for 90% of the time and applying RF power between the guidewire and both irrigated electrodes during the remaining time.
Results: The TDM technique was the most suitable in terms of creating wider lesions through the entire ventricular wall, avoiding the hour-glass shape of thermal lesions associated with the bipolar mode. This was especially apparent in the case of thick walls (15 mm). Furthermore, the TDM technique was able to create transmural lesions even when the guidewire was displaced from the midplane of the wall.
Conclusions: An RF-energised guidewire could enhance bipolar RFA by allowing transmural lesions to be made through thick ventricular walls. However, the safety of this new approach must be assessed in future pre-clinical studies, especially in terms of the risk of stenosis and its clinical impact.
Keywords: Computer model; guidewire; radiofrequency ablation; septal ventricular tachycardia.