Application of Ultrasound Thermal Imaging for Monitoring Laser Ablation in Ex Vivo Cardiac Tissue

Suhyun Park, Jieun Hwang, Jung Eun Park, Yeh Chan Ahn, Hyun Wook Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background and Objective: Laser ablation can be used to treat atrial fibrillation by thermally isolating pulmonary veins. In this study, we evaluated the feasibility of high-resolution (<1 mm) ultrasound thermal imaging to monitor spatial temperature distribution during laser ablation on ex vivo cardiac tissue. Study Design/Materials and Methods: Laser ablation (808 nm) was performed on five porcine cardiac tissue samples. A thermocouple was used to measure the interstitial tissue temperature during the laser ablation process. Tissue-strain-based ultrasound thermal imaging was conducted to monitor the spatial distribution of the temperature in the cardiac tissue. The tissue temperature was estimated from the time shifts of ultrasound signals owing to the changes in the speed of sound and was compared with the measured temperature. The temperature estimation coefficient k of porcine cardiac tissue was calculated from the estimated thermal strain and the measured temperature. The degree of tissue coagulation (temperatures > 50°C) was derived from the estimated temperature and was compared with that of the tested cardiac tissue. Results: The estimated tissue temperature using strain-based ultrasound thermal imaging at a depth of 1 mm agreed with thermocouple measurements. During the 30-second period of the laser ablation process, the estimated tissue temperature increased from 25 to 70°C at a depth of 0.1 mm, while the estimated temperature at a depth of 1 mm increased up to 46°C. Owing to the uncertainty of the coefficient k, the k value of the porcine cardiac tissue varied from 160 to 220°C with temperature changes of up to 20°C. The estimated coagulation region in the ultrasound thermal imaging was 20% wider (+0.6 mm) but 9% shallower (−0.1 mm) than the measured region of the ablated porcine cardiac tissue. Conclusions: The current study demonstrated the feasibility of temperature monitoring with the use of ultrasound thermal imaging during the laser ablation on ex vivo porcine cardiac tissue. The high-resolution ultrasound thermal imaging could map the spatial distribution of the tissue temperature. The proposed method can be used to monitor the temperature and thermal coagulation to achieve effective laser ablation for atrial fibrillation. Lasers Surg. Med.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-227
Number of pages10
JournalLasers in Surgery and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • atrial fibrillation
  • laser ablation
  • temperature monitoring
  • ultrasound thermal imaging


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