Feasibility assessment of microwave ablation for treating esophageal varices

Jan Sebek, Sergio Curto, Jimmy Eaton-Evans, Jonathan Bouchier-Hayes, Giuseppe Ruvio, Chanran Ganta, Warren Beard, Navtej Buttar, Louis Wong Kee Song, Punit Prakash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Esophageal varices are a significant complication of portal hypertension. Endoscopic variceal ligation (EVL) is one of the clinical standards for treating these varices and preventing their hemorrhage. Limitations of EVL include the risk of stricture formation and postband ulcer bleeding due to the damage caused to the esophageal mucosa, as well as the need for multiple endoscopic treatment sessions to eradicate the varices. The goal of this study is to develop a device and evaluate the technical feasibility of microwave ablation to seal esophageal varices, while preventing thermal damage to the surface mucosal tissue. A microwave applicator with a directional radiation pattern was developed for endoscopic ablation of esophageal varices. Electromagnetic and bioheat transfer computational models were employed to optimize the design of the microwave applicator and evaluate energy delivery strategies for this application. Experiments in ex vivo and in vivo tissue were employed to verify simulation results. Simulations predicted enhanced heating performance of the antenna using an angled monopole radiating element. Further, simulations indicate that while the endoscopic cap attenuated electric fields in tissue, it also enhanced surface cooling of tissue, increasing the likelihood of preserving mucosal tissue. Experiments in ex vivo tissue indicated the feasibility of sealing veins with 77 W microwave power delivered for 30 s. In vivo experiments demonstrated the ability to seal veins, while preserving surface tissue. This study demonstrated the technical feasibility of microwave thermal ablation for treating esophageal varices using a 2.45 GHz water-cooled directional microwave applicator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number031013
JournalJournal of Medical Devices, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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