Our study is based on increasing the effectiveness of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) by eliminating heat sink. The use of RFA for lung lesions is limited by the heat sink of surrounding vessels. We hypothesized that partial pulmonary isolation would enlarge the volume of necrosis.
RFA was used to create a sphere of necrosis in the lower lobe of a porcine lung. Using the same RFA settings and technique another sphere of necrosis was created in the opposite lung after obtaining partial vascular isolation by clamping the pulmonary artery. The animals were euthanized and the spheres of necrosis were compared.
The mean volume of necrosis in the unclamped ablation group was 9.75 (± 5.11). The mean volume of the clamped ablation group was 12.26 (± 5.68). Using a paired samples t-test, the difference between the unclamped and clamped group was not statistically significant (p=0.421). The volume of the spheres of necrosis was the same for both gross and microscopic examination.
Although we were unable to demonstrate a difference in necrosis with partial vascular isolation, we did demonstrate that the use of RFA on lung with minimal settings could create large areas of coagulation necrosis.
As clinical experience with RFA and lung in inoperable patients increases, techniques to enlarge the area of necrosis achievable will have great value.
C. Meyer, None.