Background - Catheter ablation of postinfarction ventricular tachycardia (VT) may be limited by insufficient myocardial coagulation or excessive endocardial or epicardial damage. We propose that volumetric heating restricted to intramural sites may improve the outcome and safety of this procedure, especially if delivered at rates that enhance heat conduction and forestall adverse tissue changes. Methods and Results - A novel optical fiber with a diffusing tip for direct intramural, volumetric laser heating was tested via thoracotomy and percutaneously in normal dogs. Low-power (2.0- to 4.5-W) diode laser light (805 nm) diffused within tissue induced large lesions but no visible surface damage, mural thrombi, or transmural perforation. Mean lesion depth approximated tip length (10 mm). Mean lesion widths in the thoracotomy and percutaneous groups were 5.8±0.5 to 9.1±0.84 mm and 5.2±0.85 to 7.9±1.1 mm, respectively, depending on the light dose. Mean volumes in the percutaneous group were 1006±245 to 2471±934 mm. ST- segment depression, appearing in unfiltered bipolar electrograms recorded from the guiding catheter, was specific for lesion induction. All dogs survived the protocol, which included a 1-hour observation period. In cross section, lesions were elliptical to spherical and characterized by extensive contraction-band necrosis abruptly bordering viable tissue. No platelets or fibrin adhered to the endocardium. Conclusions - Slow, volumetric, and direct intramyocardial heating induces large, deep lesions without hazardous tissue damage. Such heating might cure postinfarction VT more successfully and safely than present techniques. Further testing and development of this method seem warranted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)