A feasibility study of noninvasive ablation of ventricular tachycardia using high-intensity focused ultrasound

Fei Lü, Wei Huang, David G. Benditt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Current transcatheter ablation of ventricular tachycardia (VT) techniques is limited in part by its invasive nature and superficial depth of ablation lesions. Objectives: This study was aimed at evaluating the feasibility of targeted ablation of cardiac tissues using high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) as a potential means for noninvasive ablation of VT. Methods: Ablation of ventricular myocardium was performed in anesthetized closed-chest dogs using a HIFU therapeutic system that is currently used clinically for ablation of human solid tumors. Ventricular pacing using a bipolar catheter was performed at a rate slightly higher than intrinsic sinus rate to mimic VT. The myocardium at the tip of the pacing catheter was targeted for ablation. Ablation endpoint was loss of ventricular capture first and confirmed by electrical nonexcitation with 10-mA, 2-ms pulse-width unipolar stimulation. Results: Optimal ablation energy was identified at 400 W for 2–4 seconds. In five separate experimental preparations, pacing could be terminated successfully during HIFU energy delivery, which was further confirmed by electrical nonexcitation. However, capture could be obtained at other nonablated locations using the same pacing catheter. Both transmural and localized lesions could be created in a controlled fashion without apparent injury to skin, lung, or pericardium on postmortem examination. Conclusion: This pilot study suggests that HIFU is potentially useful for noninvasive ablation of targeted, localized myocardial tissues, and it may be potentially applicable for VT ablation, particularly for those with intramyocardial/epicardial origins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)788-794
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of cardiovascular electrophysiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Fei Lü, MD, PhD, FACC, FHRS, Deborah Heart and Lung Center, 200 Trenton Road, Browns Mills, New Jersey 08015. Email: luf228@aol.com This study is funded in part by a University of Minnesota faculty development grant to Dr. Fei Lü. Dr. Fei Lü is supported in part by a grant from the Shanghai 1000-Plan program. Dr. Benditt is supported in part by a grant from the Dr. Earl E. Bakken family in aid of Heart-Brain research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • ablation
  • high-intensity focused ultrasound
  • ventricular tachycardia


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