Pulsed electric field ablation of epicardial autonomic ganglia: Computer analysis of monopolar electric field across the tissues involved

González-Suárez, Ana
O’Brien, Barry
O’Halloran, Martin
Elahi, Adnan
González-Suárez, Ana, O’Brien, Barry, O’Halloran, Martin, & Elahi, Adnan. (2022). Pulsed Electric Field Ablation of Epicardial Autonomic Ganglia: Computer Analysis of Monopolar Electric Field across the Tissues Involved. Bioengineering, 9(12), 731.
Background and objectives: Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) ablation has been proposed as a non-thermal energy to treat atrial fibrillation (AF) by epicardial ablation of ganglionated plexi (GP), which are embedded within epicardial fat. Our objective was to study the distribution of the electric field through the involved tissues (fat, GPs, myocardium and blood) during epicardial PEF ablation. Methods: A two-dimensional model was built considering different tissue layers below the ablation device which consists of an irrigated electrode. The 1000 V/cm threshold was used to estimate the `PEF-zone¿. Results: The PEF-zone was almost 100% circumscribed in the epicardial fat layer, with very little incidence in the myocardium. The presence of the saline on the epicardial fat causes the PEF-zone to spread laterally around the electrode from ~5 mm to ~15 mm, relatively independently of how embedded the electrode is in the saline layer. For a saline layer well spread over the tissue surface and an electrode fully embedded in the saline layer, the PEF-zone width decreases as the fat layer thickens: from ~15 mm for fat thickness of 1 and 2 mm, down to ~10 mm for fat thickness of 5 mm. The presence of a GP in the center of the fat layer hardly affects the size of the PEF-zone, but significantly alters the distribution of the electric field around the GP, resulting in progressively lower values than in the surrounding adipose tissue as the fat layer thickness increased. Conclusions: Our results suggest how some procedural (irrigation) and anatomical parameters (fat thicknesses and presence of GPs) could be relevant in terms of the size of the tissue area affected by pulsed field ablation.
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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)