Ventricular arrhythmias following thermal damage of epicardial tissue: Possible causes and clinical implications

David L. Ware, Paul Boor, Chunjie Yang, Ashok Gowda, Massoud Motamedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Epicardial heating may be used for ventricular tachycardia (VT) ablation and transmyocardial revascularization. However, the potential risks of thermal epicardial injury, including arrhythmia, have not been fully explored. This study relates the pathologic and arrhythmic sequellae of epicardial heating when applied with a diode laser at varying doses. Acute pathology and dosimetry were determined in a group of normal dogs using 2-3 W over 30-90 seconds. Another group received a similar dose range before undergoing 24-hour monitoring, and electrophysiological testing was done at 4 weeks. In this group, four dogs each received 12 lesions (90-180 J) according to a randomized block design. Another dog received nine lower dose lesions (30-120 J). Acute lesions measured 2.5-8.0-mm wide by 4-8.5-mm deep. Charring and vaporization were common when 3 W were applied over 45 seconds. Within 24 hours, VT with features of abnormal automaticity occurred in all dogs receiving this dose. The dog in whom lower doses induced coagulation only had no VT. Four weeks later, electrophysiological study induced no VT. At this time fibrosis and granulation tissue were organizing the contraction band necrosis seen acutely, and some lesion borders were becoming calcified. No major vessels had been damaged. Abnormal automaticity and VT may occur if thermal damage of the epicardium exceeds coagulation. This could be related to tissue injury caused by sudden water vaporization, and may have clinical relevance given the growing indications for myocardial heating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1375-1380
Number of pages6
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2000


  • Catheter ablation
  • Laser
  • Tachycardia
  • Transmyocardial revascularization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Ventricular arrhythmias following thermal damage of epicardial tissue: Possible causes and clinical implications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this