Simultaneous multipolar radiofrequency ablation in the monopolar mode increases lesion size

Mackey S, Thornton L, He DS, Marcus FI, Lampe LF. Simultaneous multipolar radiofrequency ablation in the monopolar mode increases lesion size. Pacing Clin. Electrophysiol. 1996;19(7):1042-1048.
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Delivery of radiofrequency (RF) energy from the distal tip of electrophysiology catheters produces lesions that may be too small to ablate arrhythmogenic sites during a single application of RF energy. To produce larger lesions, we delivered RF energy via a quadripolar catheter in which all four electrodes were connected in unipolar fashion. The catheter (Webster Labs) had a 4-mm tip, 2-mm ring electrodes, and 2-mm interelectrode distance. Lesion size was compared using RF energy delivered in a multipolar configuration with that delivered only to the distal tip using fresh bovine ventricular tissue. In vivo, RF lesions were made in dogs using the distal tip as well as all four poles of the same catheter inserted percutaneously. RF energy was delivered using a constant voltage at a frequency of 400 kHz. Preliminary experiments were conducted to determine the maximum power deliverable without coagulation using each electrode configuration. The use of simultaneous multipolar RF ablation produced significantly larger lesions both in vitro and in vivo. The length of the lesion was increased by a factor of approximately 2 in both the in vitro and in vivo experiments. There was a trend toward an increasing depth of the lesion by simultaneously applying RF energy to all four electrodes. Lesion width was significantly increased in the in vivo studies. We concluded that simultaneous multipolar delivery of RF energy produces larger lesions than can be obtained with delivery of RF energy to the distal tip alone. This technique may offer a means of increasing lesion size, leading to a decrease in the number of applications of RF energy necessary for ablation of arrhythmias.
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