Monitoring radiofrequency catheter ablation using thermal strain imaging

Chi Hyung Seo, Douglas Stephens, Jonathan Cannata, Aaron Dentinger, Feng Lin, Suhyun Park, Douglas Wildes, Kai Thomenius, Peter Chen, Tho Nguyen, Alan Delarama, Jong Seob Jeong, Aman Mahajan, Kalyanam Shivkumar, Omer Oralkan, David Sahn, Pierre Khuri-Yakub, Matthew O'Donnell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A method to monitor ablative therapy by examining slope changes in the thermal strain curve caused by speed of sound with temperature is introduced. The variation of sound speed with temperature rise for most soft tissue follows a similar pattern to that of water. Unlike most liquids, the sound speed of tissue increases with temperature. However, at temperatures above about 50 °C, there is no further increase in the sound speed and the temperature coefficient may become slightly negative. For ablation therapy, an irreversible injury to tissue and a complete heart block occurs in the range of 48-50 °C for a short period in accordance with the well known Arrhenius equation. Using these two properties, we propose a potential tool to detect the moment when tissue damage occurs using the reduced slope in the thermal strain curve as a function of heating time. Using a prototype intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) array for imaging and a catheter for RF ablation, we were able to observe an obvious slope change in the thermal strain curve in an excised tissue sample. The method was further tested in-vivo, using a specially equipped ablation tip and an 11 MHz microlinear (ML) ICE array mounted on the tip of a catheter. As with in-vitro experiments, the thermal strain curve showed a plateau and a change in the sign of the slope.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2010 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2010
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2010
Event2010 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2010 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 11 Oct 201014 Oct 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium
ISSN (Print)1051-0117


Conference2010 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


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