Cryoablation of the pulmonary veins using a novel balloon catheter
Introduction. Pulmonary vein (PV) isolation has emerged as a promising technique for the treatment of patients with drug-refractory atrial fibrillation, however, the achievement of transmural lesions has remained a challenge. We evaluated the ability of a novel balloon-based cryogenic catheter system in achieving transmural lesions for PV isolation.
Methods. Six pulmonary vein ostia from three excised ovine hearts and lungs were used in this study. The balloon catheter was deployed and positioned at the ostia of the PVs and a full 8-minute ablation was then performed, while the heart was bathed in a circulating bath of normal saline at 37∘. Thermocouples positioned on the endocardial (balloon surface—tissue interface) and epicardial surfaces of the ostia were used to determine whether transmural freezing was achieved.
Results. The mean temperatures measured on the endocardial and epicardial tissue in six PV ablations were −38.8∘ ± 6.9∘C and −10.0∘ ± 7.5∘C, respectively. The average pulmonary vein thickness was 3.3 ± 1.4 mm.
Conclusions. A novel cryoablation balloon catheter is capable of achieving transmural freezing of the pulmonary vein. The catheter has promise for future clinical therapy of atrial fibrillation.
KeywordsPulmonary vein Cryoenergy Ablation
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