Development of a catheter-based technique for endoluminal radiofrequency sealing of pancreatic duct

Int J Hyperthermia. 2019;36(1):677-686. doi: 10.1080/02656736.2019.1627585.


Introduction: Endoluminal sealing of the pancreatic duct by glue or sutures facilitates the management of the pancreatic stump. Our objective was to develop a catheter-based alternative for endoluminal radiofrequency (RF) sealing of the pancreatic duct. Materials and methods: We devised a novel RF ablation technique based on impedance-guided catheter pullback. First, bench tests were performed on ex vivo models to tune up the technique before the in vivo study, after which endoluminal RF sealing of a ∼10 cm non-transected pancreatic duct was conducted on porcine models using a 3 Fr catheter. After 30 days, sealing effectiveness was assessed by a permeability test and a histological analysis. Results: The RF technique was feasible in all cases and delivered ∼5 W of power on an initial impedance of 308 ± 60 Ω. Electrical impedance evolution was similar in all cases and provided guidance for modulating the pullback speed to avoid tissue sticking and achieve a continuous lesion. During the follow-up the animals rate of weight gain was significantly reduced (p < 0.05). Apart from signs of exocrine atrophy, no other postoperative complications were found. At necropsy, the permeability test failed and the catheter could not be reintroduced endoluminally, confirming that sealing had been successful. The histological analysis revealed a homogeneous exocrine atrophy along the ablated segment in all the animals. Conclusions: Catheter-based RF ablation could be used effectively and safely for endoluminal sealing of the pancreatic duct. The findings suggest that a fully continuous lesion may not be required to obtain complete exocrine atrophy.

Keywords: Ablation; endoluminal; pancreatic duct; radiofrequency; sealing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catheter Ablation / methods*
  • Catheters
  • Cattle
  • Electric Impedance
  • Equipment Design
  • Liver / surgery
  • Pancreatic Ducts / surgery*
  • Swine