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18 March 2015 The effect of elastic modulus on ablation catheter contact area
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Abstract
Cardiac ablation consists of navigating a catheter into the heart and delivering RF energy to electrically isolate tissue regions that generate or propagate arrhythmia. Besides the challenges of accurate and precise targeting of the arrhythmic sites within the beating heart, limited information is currently available to the cardiologist regarding intricate electrodetissue contact, which directly impacts the quality of produced lesions. Recent advances in ablation catheter design provide intra-procedural estimates of tissue-catheter contact force, but the most direct indicator of lesion quality for any particular energy level and duration is the tissue-catheter contact area, and that is a function of not only force, but catheter pose and material elasticity as well.

In this experiment, we have employed real-time ultrasound (US) imaging to determine the complete interaction between the ablation electrode and tissue to accurately estimate contact, which will help to better understand the effect of catheter pose and position relative to the tissue. By simultaneously recording tracked position, force reading and US image of the ablation catheter, the differing material properties of polyvinyl alcohol cryogel[1] phantoms are shown to produce varying amounts of tissue depression and contact area (implying varying lesion quality) for equivalent force readings. We have shown that the elastic modulus significantly affects the surface-contact area between the catheter and tissue at any level of contact force. Thus we provide evidence that a prescribed level of catheter force may not always provide sufficient contact area to produce an effective ablation lesion in the prescribed ablation time.
© (2015) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jon J. Camp, Cristian A. Linte, Maryam E. Rettmann, Deyu Sun, Douglas L. Packer, Richard A. Robb, and David R. Holmes III "The effect of elastic modulus on ablation catheter contact area", Proc. SPIE 9415, Medical Imaging 2015: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling, 941506 (18 March 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2083122
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