Pulsed Field Ablation of the Porcine Ventricle Using a Focal Lattice-Tip Catheter

Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2022 Sep;15(9):e011120. doi: 10.1161/CIRCEP.122.011120. Epub 2022 Sep 8.

Abstract

Background: Our understanding of catheter-based pulsed field ablation (PFA) of the ventricular myocardium is limited. We conducted a series of exploratory evaluations of ventricular PFA in swine ventricles.

Methods: A focal lattice-tip catheter was used to deliver proprietary biphasic monopolar PFA applications to swine ventricles under general anesthesia, with guidance from electroanatomical mapping, fluoroscopy, and intracardiac echocardiography. We conducted experiments to assess the impact of (1) delivery repetition (2×, 3×, or 4×) at each location, (2) epicardial PFA delivery, and (3) confluent areas of shallow healed endocardial scar created by prior PFA (4 weeks earlier) on subsequent endocardial PFA. Additional assessments included PFA optimized for the ventricle, lesion visualization by intracardiac echocardiography imaging, and immunohistochemical insights.

Results: Experiment no. 1: lesions (n=49) were larger with delivery repetition of either 4× or 3× versus 2×: length 17.6±3.9 or 14.2±2.0 versus 12.7±2.0 mm (P<0.01, P=0.22), width 13.4±1.8 or 10.6±1.3 versus 10.5±1.1 mm (P<0.01, P=1.00), and depth 6.1±2.1 or 5.1±1.3 versus 4.2±1.0 mm (P<0.01, P=0.21). Experiment no. 2: epicardial lesions (n=18) were reliably created and comparable to endocardial lesions: length 24.6±9.7 mm (n=5), width 15.6±4.6 mm, and depth 4.5±3.7 mm. Experiment no. 3: PFA (n=16) was able to penetrate to a depth of 4.8 (interquartile range, 4.5-5.4) mm in healthy myocardium versus 5.6 (interquartile range, 3.6-6.6) mm in adjacent healed endocardial scar (P=0.79), suggesting that superficial scar does not significantly impair PFA. Finally, we demonstrate, PFA optimized for the ventricle yielded adequate lesion dimensions, can result in myocardial activation, can be visualized by intracardiac echocardiography, and have unique immunohistochemical characteristics.

Conclusions: This in vivo evaluation offers insights into the behavior of endocardial or epicardial PFA delivered using the lattice-tip catheter to normal or scarred porcine ventricular myocardium, thereby setting the stage for future clinical studies.

Keywords: catheter ablation; electroporation; immunohistochemistry; myocardium; swine; tachycardia,ventricular.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catheter Ablation* / methods
  • Catheters
  • Cicatrix* / pathology
  • Endocardium / diagnostic imaging
  • Endocardium / pathology
  • Endocardium / surgery
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Ventricles / pathology
  • Heart Ventricles / surgery
  • Swine