To evaluate the ablation zones created with a gas-cooled bipolar radiofrequency applicator performed on ex vivo bovine liver tissue.
Materials and Methods
A total of 320 ablations with an internally gas-cooled bipolar radiofrequency applicator were performed on fresh ex vivo bovine liver tissue, varying the ablation time (5, 10, 15, and 20 min), power (20, 30, 40, and 50 W), and gas pressure of the CO2 used for cooling (585, 600, 615, 630, 645 psi), leading to a total of 80 different parameter combinations. Size and shape of the white coagulation zone were assessed.
The largest complete ablation zone was achieved after 20 min of implementing 50 W and 645 psi, resulting in a short axis of mean 46 ± 1 mm and a long axis of 56 ± 2 mm (mean ± standard deviation). Short-axis diameters increased between 5 and 20 min of ablation time at 585 psi (increase of the short axis was 45% at 30 W, 29% at 40 W, and 39% at 50 W). This increase was larger at 645 psi (113% at 30 W, 67% at 40 W, and 70% at 50 W). Macroscopic assessment and NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) staining revealed incompletely ablated tissue along the needle track in 18 parameter combinations including low-power settings (20 and 30 W) and different cooling levels and ablation times.
Gas-cooled radiofrequency applicators increase the short-axis diameter of coagulation in an ex vivo setting if appropriate parameters are selected.