Pulsed electric fields for cardiac ablation and beyond: A state-of-the-art review

Elad Maor, Alan Sugrue, Chance Witt, Vaibhav R. Vaidya, Christopher V. DeSimone, Samuel J. Asirvatham, Suraj Kapa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Irreversible electroporation (IRE) occurs when a strong, pulsed electric field (PEF) causes permeabilization of the cell membrane, leading to cellular homeostasis disruption and cell death. IRE is a Food and Drug Administration–approved treatment of tumor ablation and has been gaining attention in cardiology as an ablation modality. Applications of PEF in cardiology are vast and include atrial fibrillation, ventricular fibrillation, septal ablation, and targeting vascular structures. PEF has appealing characteristics, including the ability to be tissue specific and its nonthermal nature. This review provides information on the biophysics and mechanisms of IRE, summarizes key studies and applications to date, and provides insight into future applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1112-1120
Number of pages9
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Ablation
  • Electroporation
  • Irreversible electroporation
  • Pulsed electric fields
  • Radiofrequency


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