Pulsed Field Ablation Using a Lattice Electrode for Focal Energy Delivery: Biophysical Characterization, Lesion Durability, and Safety Evaluation

Hagai Yavin, Ayelet Shapira-Daniels, Michael Barkagan, Jakub Sroubek, David Shim, Raffaele Melidone, Elad Anter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Pulsed field ablation (PFA) is a nonthermal energy that may provide safety advantages over radiofrequency ablation (RFA). One-shot PFA catheters have been developed for pulmonary vein isolation, but they do not permit flexible lesion sets. This study investigated a novel lattice-tip catheter designed for focal RFA or PFA ablation. Methods: The effects of PFA (biphasic, 24 amperes) were investigated in 25 swine using a lattice-tip catheter and system (Affera Inc). Step 1 (n=14) examined the feasibility to create atrial line of block and described its acute effects on the phrenic nerve and esophagus. Step 2 (n=7) examined the subacute effects of PFA on block durability, phrenic nerve, and esophagus ≥2 weeks. Step 3 compared the effects of PFA and RFA on the esophagus using a mechanical deviation model approximating the esophagus to the right atrium (n=4) and by direct ablation within its lumen (n=4). The effects of endocardial PFA and RFA on the phrenic nerve were also compared (n=10). Histological analysis was performed. Results: PFA produced acute block in 100% of lines, achieved with 2.1 (1.3-3.2) applications/cm line. Histological analysis following (35 [18-37]) days showed 100% transmurality (thickness range 0.4-3.4 mm) with a lesion width of 19.4 (10.9-27.4 mm). PFA selectively affected cardiomyocytes but spared blood vessels and nervous tissue. PFA applied from the posterior atria (23 [21-25] applications) to the approximated esophagus (6 [4.5-14] mm) produced transmural lesions without esophageal injury. PFA (16.5 [15-18] applications) applied inside the esophageal lumen produced mild edema compared with RFA (13 [12-14] applications) which produced epithelial ulcerations. PFA resulted in no or transient stunning of the phrenic nerve (<5 minutes) without histological changes while RFA produced paralysis. Conclusions: PFA using a lattice-tip ablation catheter for focal ablation produced durable atrial lesions and showed lower vulnerability to esophageal or phrenic nerve damage compared with RFA. Visual Overview: A visual overview is available for this article.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E008580
JournalCirculation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
Affera Inc.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood InstituteT32HL007374


    • atrial fibrillation
    • catheter ablation
    • esophagus
    • paralysis
    • pulmonary veins


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