Vascular smooth muscle cells ablation with endovascular nonthermal irreversible electroporation

Elad Maor*, Antoni Ivorra, James J. Mitchell, Boris Rubinsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose To evaluate the effect of endovascular nonthermal irreversible electroporation (NTIRE) on blood vessels. Materials and Methods Specially made endovascular devices with four electrodes on top of inflatable balloons were used to apply electroporation pulses. Finite element simulations were used to characterize NTIRE protocols that would not induce thermal damage to treated tissues. Right iliac arteries of eight rabbits were treated with 90 NTIRE pulses. Angiograms were performed before and after the procedures. Arterial specimens were harvested at 7 and 35 days. Evaluation included hematoxylin and eosin, elastic von Giessen, and Masson trichrome stains. Immunohistochemistry of selected slides included smooth muscle actin (SMA), proliferating cell nuclear antigen, von Willebrand factor (VWF), and S-100 antigen. Results At 7 days, all NTIRE-treated arterial segments displayed complete, transmural ablation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). At 35 days, similar damage to VSMC was noted. In most cases, the elastic lamina remained intact, and endothelial layer regenerated. Occasional mural inflammation and cartilaginous metaplasia were noted. After 5 weeks, there was no evidence of significant VSMC proliferation, with the dominant process being wall fibrosis with regenerated endothelium. Conclusions NTIRE can be applied in an endovascular approach. It efficiently ablates vessel wall within seconds and with no damage to extracellular structures. NTIRE has possible applications in many fields of clinical cardiology, including arterial restenosis and cardiac arrhythmias.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1708-1715
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


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