Accurate Lesion Size Measurements during Cardiac Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation


Inventors have developed a radiofrequency ablation (RFA) system, which more accurately estimates lesion size in effort to preserve tissue will be affected during a procedure. The system quantifies blood convection cooling at the cardiac RF catheter ablation site and allows for prediction of lesion size and/or computation of RF energy parameters and characteristics.

With over 400,000 procedures performed worldwide per year (70% in the US), radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a common, low-invasive procedure used to treat a range of cardiac problems including recurrent atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia, atrial tachycardia and ventricular arrhythmia. During the procedure, a catheter is inserted into the heart, and radiofrequency energy is applied to destroy tissue that is causing the abnormal heart rhythm. Although RFA has high success rates, current procedures rely on the past experience of the physician and their subjective analysis of what to ablate, potentially resulting in too much or too little tissue being destroyed. With an objective measure of the size of lesions, RFA procedures can be more targeted and reduce the need for recurring defects or complications.

Most clinical RF ablation systems for catheter treatment of cardiac arrhythmias employ temperature control. Typically, a sensor located in the electrode tip measures temperature and applied power is controlled to keep tip temperature constant (usually between 60 and 70° C.). A number of studies employing computer models, ex vivo experiments, and in vivo animal models, have demonstrated the dependence of RF lesion dimension generated on local convective cooling

Publications: Haemmerich, D., and J. P. Saul. "Quantification of local convectional cooling during cardiac radiofrequency catheter ablation." Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2006. EMBS'06. 28th Annual International Conference of the IEEE. IEEE, 2006.

Lai, Yu-Chi, et al. "Lesion size estimator of cardiac radiofrequency ablation at different common locations with different tip temperatures." Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on 51.10 (2004): 1859-1864.

Advantages: Targeted, objective cardiac radiofrequency ablation procedures
Key Words: Cardiac ablation, radiofrequency ablation, RFA, RF, lesion, cooling

Inventors: D. Haemmerich, J.P. Saul
Patent Status: US Patent 8,419,725
MUSC-FRD Technology ID:

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Scott Davis
Sr Licensing Manager
MUSC Foundation for Research Development
Dieter Haemmerich
J. Philip Saul
© 2017. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Inteum