Balloon catheter-based radiofrequency ablation monitoring in porcine esophagus using optical coherence tomography

Biomed Opt Express. 2019 Mar 28;10(4):2067-2089. doi: 10.1364/BOE.10.002067. eCollection 2019 Apr 1.


We present a microscopic image guidance platform for radiofrequency ablation (RFA) using a clinical balloon-catheter-based optical coherence tomography (OCT) system, currently used in the surveillance of Barrett's esophagus patients. Our integrated thermal therapy delivery and monitoring platform consists of a flexible, customized bipolar RFA electrode array designed for use with a clinical balloon OCT catheter and a processing algorithm to accurately map the thermal coagulation process. Non-uniform rotation distortion was corrected using a feature tracking-based technique, which enables robust, frame-to-frame analysis of the temporal fluctuation of the complex OCT signal. With proper noise calibration, precise delineation of the thermal therapy zone was demonstrated using cumulative complex differential variance in porcine esophagus ex vivo with the integrated OCT-RFA system, as validated by nitroblue tetrazolium chloride (NBTC) histology. The ability to directly and accurately visualize the thermal coagulation process at high resolution is critical to the precise delivery of thermal energy to a wide range of epithelial lesions.