Toward guidance of epicardial cardiac radio frequency ablation therapy using optical coherence tomography

Fleming, Christine P.; Quan, Kara J.; Rollins, Andrew M.

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is the standard of care to cure many cardiac arrhythmias. Epicardial ablation for the treatment of ventricular tachycardia has limited success rates due in part to the presence of epicardial fat, which prevents proper rf energy delivery, inadequate contact of ablation catheter with tissue, and increased likelihood of complications with energy delivery in close proximity to coronary vessels. A method to directly visualize the epicardial surface during RFA could potentially provide feedback to reduce complications and titrate rf energy dose by detecting critical structures, assessing probe contact, and confirming energy delivery by visualizing lesion formation. Currently, there is no technology available for direct visualization of the heart surface during epicardial RFA therapy. We demonstrate that optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging has the potential to fill this unmet need. Spectral domain OCT at 1310nm is employed to image the epicardial surface of freshly excised swine hearts using a microscope integrated bench-top scanner and a forward imaging catheter probe. OCT image features are observed that clearly distinguish untreated myocardium, ablation lesions, epicardial fat, and coronary vessels, and assess tissue contact with catheter-based imaging. These results support the potential for real-time guidance of epicardial RFA therapy using OCT imaging.


Also Published In

Journal of Biomedical Optics

More About This Work

Academic Units
Electrical Engineering
Published Here
November 8, 2012