PLoS One 2016 3;11(3):e0150356. Epub 2016 Mar 3.
BCAM - Basque Center for Applied Mathematics, Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain.
Radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) is a routine treatment for cardiac arrhythmias. During RFCA, the electrode-tissue interface temperature should be kept below 80 °C to avoid thrombus formation. Open-irrigated electrodes facilitate power delivery while keeping low temperatures around the catheter. No computational model of an open-irrigated electrode in endocardial RFCA accounting for both the saline irrigation flow and the blood motion in the cardiac chamber has been proposed yet. We present the first computational model including both effects at once. The model has been validated against existing experimental results. Computational results showed that the surface lesion width and blood temperature are affected by both the electrode design and the irrigation flow rate. Smaller surface lesion widths and blood temperatures are obtained with higher irrigation flow rate, while the lesion depth is not affected by changing the irrigation flow rate. Larger lesions are obtained with increasing power and the electrode-tissue contact. Also, larger lesions are obtained when electrode is placed horizontally. Overall, the computational findings are in close agreement with previous experimental results providing an excellent tool for future catheter research.