In vivo evaluation of virtual electrode mapping and ablation utilizing a direct endocardial visualization ablation catheter.J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2012 Jan; 23(1):88-95.JC
Radiofrequency (RF) ablation utilizing direct endocardial visualization (DEV) requires a "virtual electrode" to deliver RF energy while preserving visualization. This study aimed to: (1) examine the virtual electrode RF ablation efficacy; (2) determine the optimal power and duration settings; and (3) evaluate the utility of virtual electrode unipolar electrograms.
METHODS AND RESULTS
The DEV catheter lesions were compared to lesions formed using a 3.5 mm open irrigated tip catheter within the right atria of 12 sheep. Generator power settings for DEV were titrated from 12W, 14W and 16W for 20, 30 and 40 seconds duration with 25 mL/min saline irrigation. Standard irrigated tip catheter settings of 30W, 50°C for 30 seconds and 30 mL/min were used. The DEV lesions were significantly greater in surface area and both major and minor axes compared to irrigated tip lesions (surface area 19.43 ± 9.09 vs 10.88 ± 4.72 mm, P<0.01) with no difference in transmurality (93/94 vs 46/47) or depth (1.86 ± 0.75 vs 1.85 ± 0.57 mm). Absolute electrogram amplitude reduction was greater for DEV lesions (1.89 ± 1.31 vs 1.49 ± 0.78 mV, P = 0.04), but no difference in percentage reduction. Pre-ablation pacing thresholds were not different between DEV (0.79 ± 0.36 mA) and irrigated tip (0.73 ± 0.25 mA) lesions. There were no complications noted during ablation with either catheter.
Virtual electrode ablation consistently created wider lesions at lower power compared to irrigated tip ablation. Virtual electrode electrograms showed a comparable pacing and sensing efficacy in detecting local myocardial electrophysiological changes.