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Irreversible Electroporation Adjacent to the Rectum: Evaluation of Pathological Effects in a Pig Model

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To evaluate the effects of irreversible electroporation (IRE) on the rectum wall after IRE applied adjacent to the rectum.

Material and Methods

CT-guided IRE adjacent to the rectum wall was performed in 11 pigs; a total of 44 lesions were created. In five pigs, ablations were performed without a water-filled endorectal coil (group A); in six pigs, ablation was performed with the coil to avoid displacement of the rectum wall (group B). The pigs were killed after 7–15 days and the rectums were harvested for pathological evaluation.


There was no evidence of perforation on gross postmortem examination. Perirectal muscle lesions were observed in 18 of 20 ablations in group A and in 21 of 24 ablations in group B. Inflammation and fibrosis of the muscularis propria was observed in ten of 18 lesions in group A and in ten of 21 lesions in group B. In group A, findings were limited to the external layer of the muscularis propria except for one lesion; in group B, findings were transmural in all cases. Transmural necrosis with marked suppurative mucosal inflammation was observed in seven of 21 lesions in group B and in no lesion in group A.


IRE-ablation adjacent to the rectum may be uneventful if the rectum wall is mobile and able to contract. IRE-ablation of the rectum may be harmful if the rectum wall is fixed adjacent to the IRE-probe.

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Conflict of interest

G. S. is employed by AngioDynamics. The institution of S. B. S. received an unrestricted grant and equipment from AngioDynamics as well as a grant from G. E. Healthcare. S. B. S is also a consultant for GE Healthcare and Johnson & Johnson.

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Correspondence to Stephen B. Solomon.

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Schoellnast, H., Monette, S., Ezell, P.C. et al. Irreversible Electroporation Adjacent to the Rectum: Evaluation of Pathological Effects in a Pig Model. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 36, 213–220 (2013).

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