Comparison of Microemboli Formation Between Irrigated Catheter Tip Architecture Using a Microemboli Monitoring System

Hiroki Konishi, Atsushi Suzuki, Stephan Hohmann, Kay D. Parker, Laura K. Newman, Kristi H. Monahan, Maryam E. Rettmann, Douglas L. Packer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This study aimed to compare the efficacy and safety of ablation with high and low power settings using either a flexible tip or straight SF tip irrigated catheter in the left ventricle (LV) using a peripheral microemboli monitoring system. Background: The microemboli risk of flexible and straight SF tip irrigated catheters in creating ablative lesions in the LV at variable power settings has not been adequately assessed. Methods: Six pigs underwent catheter ablation in the LV using a flexible tip or straight SF tip catheter with 2 energy settings (30 or 50 W, 30 seconds, irrigation saline 17 mL/min). Results: A total of 79 radiofrequency (RF) applications were assessed. High power settings via a flexible tip formed a significantly higher arterial microbubble volume in the extracorporeal circulation (P = 0.005). Notably, RF applications with a steam pop induced an exponential increase of microbubble volume with both catheters. A higher power setting induced a significantly higher number of microembolic signals on carotid artery Doppler ultrasound with a flexible tip irrigated catheter (P < 0.001). Similarly, the straight SF tip irrigated catheter tended to increase the number of microembolic signals with 50 W (P = 0.091). Conclusions: RF ablation at high power settings in the LV carries a risk of microembolic events compared with lower power settings. When high power settings are used for creating ablative lesions for deep intramural foci in the LV, the risk of microembolic events induced by RF ablation should be carefully monitored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-37
Number of pages12
JournalJACC: Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • ablation
  • flexible tip irrigated catheter
  • left ventricle
  • microemboli formation
  • straight SF tip irrigated catheter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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