Optimal frequency of radiofrequency catheter ablation in vitro and in vivo for treating ventricular tachycardias—a study using various frequencies

T Ikeda, K Sugi, K Ninomiya, Y Enjoji, R Abe, S Yabuki, T Yamaguchi
Japanese Circulation Journal 1993, 57 (9): 921-7
The purpose of this study was to determine the optimal frequency for radiofrequency catheter ablation of ventricular tachycardias. A radiofrequency current was delivered from a 6F bipolar electrode catheter with a tip electrode width of 4 mm. Ablation was performed for a pulse duration of 10 sec at 20 watts (50 V and 0.4 A) at seven different frequencies between 10 and 500 kHz. We used 35 canine isolated left ventricular endocardial sites in vitro and 14 anesthetized dogs in vivo. The lesions which were ablated at frequencies of 200 and 300 kHz were significantly larger than those at other frequencies, with a mean surface areas of 78.5 and 76.3 mm2, and mean depths of 4.0 and 4.1 mm, respectively (p < 0.05). The appearance of ventricular arrhythmias during ablation increased as the frequency decreased. One dog, to which a frequency of 100 kHz was applied, developed spontaneous ventricular fibrillation and died. All of the dogs which received a current with a frequency under 50 kHz exhibited muscle cramping during ablation. Ventricular stimuli applied after ablation did not induce ventricular tachycardia. These results suggest that the optimal frequency for ablating a large lesion is between 200 and 300 kHz. To avoid inducing malignant ventricular arrhythmia during ablation, the frequency must exceed 200 kHz. Furthermore, a frequency below 100 kHz should not be used in radiofrequency catheter ablation because of the risk of arrhythmias and muscle cramping.

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