Background: Pulsed field ablation (PFA) is a nonthermal energy with potential safety advantages over radiofrequency ablation. This study investigated a novel PFA system-a circular multielectrode catheter (PFA lasso) and a multichannel generator designed to work with Carto 3 mapping system. Methods: A 7.5F bidirectional circular catheter with 10 electrodes and variable expansion was designed for PFA (biphasic, 1800 Volts). This study included a total of 16 swine used to investigate the following 3 experimental aims: Aim 1 examined the feasibility to create a right atrial ablation line of block from the superior vena cava to the inferior vena cava. Aim 2 examined the effect of PFA on lesion maturation including durability after a 30-day survival period. Aim 3 examined the effect of high-intensity PFA (10 applications) on esophageal and phrenic nerve tissue in comparison to normal intensity radiofrequency ablation (1-2 applications). Histopathologic analysis of all cardiac, esophageal, and phrenic nerve tissue was performed. Results: Acute line of block was achieved in 12/12 swine (100%) and required a total PFA time of 14 seconds (interquartile range [IQR], 9-24.5) per line. Ablation line durability after 28±3 days was maintained in 11/12 (91.7%) swine. PFA resulted in transmural lesions in 179/183 (97.8%) sections and a median lesion width of 14.2 mm. High-intensity PFA (9 [IQR, 8-14] application) had no effect on the esophagus while standard intensity radiofrequency ablation (1.5 [IQR, 1-2] applications) resulted in deep esophageal tissue injury involving the muscularis propria and adventitia layers. High-intensity PFA (16 [IQR, 10-28] applications) has no effect on phrenic nerve function and structure while standard dose radiofrequency ablation (1.5 [IQR, 1-2] applications) resulted in acute phrenic nerve paralysis. Conclusions: In this preclinical model, a multielectrode circular catheter and multichannel generator produced durable atrial lesions with lower vulnerability to esophageal or phrenic nerve damage.
- Atrial fibrillation
- Catheter ablation