Despite considerable advances in guidance of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) therapies for atrial fibrillation, success rates have been hampered by an inability to intraoperatively characterize the extent of permanent injury. Insufficient lesions can elusively create transient conduction blockages that eventually reconduct. Prior studies suggest significantly greater met-myoglobin (Mmb) concentrations in the lesion core than those in the healthy myocardium and may serve as a marker for irreversible tissue damage. In this work, we present real-time monitoring of permanent injury through spectroscopic assessment of Mmb concentrations at the catheter tip. Atrial wedges (n=6) were excised from four fresh swine hearts and submerged under pulsatile flow of warm (37oC) phosphate buffered saline. A commercial RFA catheter inserted into a fiber optic sheath allowed for simultaneous measurement of tissue diffuse reflectance (DR) spectra (500-650nm) during application of RF energy. Optical measurements were continuously acquired before, during, and post-ablation, in addition to healthy neighboring tissue. Met-myoglobin, oxy-myoglobin, and deoxy-myoglobin concentrations were extracted from each spectrum using an inverse Monte Carlo method. Tissue injury was validated with Masson’s trichrome and hematoxylin and eosin staining. Time courses revealed a rapid increase in tissue Mmb concentrations at the onset of RFA treatment and a gradual plateauing thereafter. Extracted Mmb concentrations were significantly greater post-ablation (p<0.0001) as compared to healthy tissue and correlated well with histological assessment of severe thermal tissue destruction. On going studies are aimed at integrating these findings with prior work on near infrared spectroscopic lesion depth assessment. These results support the use of spectroscopy-facilitated guidance of RFA therapies for real-time permanent injury estimation.
Rajinder P. Singh-Moon and Christine P. Hendon, "Real-time optical monitoring of permanent lesion progression in radiofrequency ablated cardiac tissue (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9689, Photonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics XII, 968939 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 14, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2212062.4828143208001.
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