Feasibility study on stereotactic radiotherapy for total pulmonary vein isolation in a canine model

Sci Rep. 2021 Jun 11;11(1):12369. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-91660-y.


We tested the feasibility of pulmonary vein (PV) and left atrial (LA) posterior wall isolation using non-invasive stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR) and investigated pathological changes in irradiated lesions in a canine model. Seven male Mongrel dogs received single-fraction 33 Gy SABR. We designed the en-bloc circular target of total PVs and LA posterior wall to avoid the esophagus. The circular box lesion included the LA roof and ridge, low posterior wall, and posterior interatrial septum. At 6 weeks or 4 months post-SABR, electrical isolation of the SABR lesion was confirmed using LA posterior wall pacing, and histopathological review was performed. Electrical isolation of all PVs and the LA posterior wall was achieved in three of five dogs in the 4-month group. There was one target failure and one sudden death at 15 weeks. Although two dogs in the 6-week group failed to achieve electrical lesion isolation, the irradiated atrial myocardium showed diffuse hemorrhage with inflammatory cell infiltration. In successfully isolated 4-month model dogs, we observed transmural fibrotic scarring with extensive fibrosis on irradiated atrial tissue. The findings suggest that this novel circular box-design radiotherapy technique using SABR could be applied to humans after further studies are conducted to confirm safety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atrial Fibrillation / radiotherapy*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dogs
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Male
  • Models, Animal
  • Pulmonary Veins / radiation effects*
  • Radiosurgery / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed