Gastric ablation as a novel technique for modulating electrical conduction in the in vivo stomach

Zahra Aghababaie, Niranchan Paskaranandavadivel, Satya Amirapu, Chih Hsiang Alexander Chan, Peng Du, Samuel J. Asirvatham, Gianrico Farrugia, Arthur Beyder, Gregory O’Grady, Leo K. Cheng, Timothy R. Angeli-Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Gastric motility is coordinated by underlying bioelectrical “slow wave” activity. Slow wave dysrhythmias are associated with motility disorders, including gastroparesis, offering an underexplored potential therapeutic target. Although ablation is widely used to treat cardiac arrhythmias, this approach has not yet been trialed for gastric electrical abnormalities. We hypothesized that ablation can create localized conduction blocks and modulate slow wave activation. Radiofrequency ablation was performed on the porcine serosa in vivo, encompassing a range of parameters (55–85C, adjacent points forming a line, 5–10 s/point). High-resolution electrical mapping (16 16 electrodes; 6 6 cm) was applied to define baseline and acute postablation activation patterns. Tissue damage was evaluated by hematoxylin and eosin and c-Kit stains. Results demonstrated that RF ablation successfully induced complete conduction block and a full thickness lesion in the muscle layer at energy doses of 65–75C for 5–10 s/point. Gastric ablation may hold therapeutic potential for gastric electrical abnormalities in the future. NEW & NOTEWORTHY This study presents gastric ablation as a new method for modulating slow wave activation and propagation in vivo, by creating localized electrical conduction blocks in the stomach, validated by high-resolution electrical mapping and histological tissue analysis. The results define the effective energy dose range for creating conduction blocks, while maintaining the mucosal and submucosal integrity, and demonstrate the electrophysiological effects of ablation. In future, gastric ablation can now be translated toward disrupting dysrhythmic slow wave activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G573-G585
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Conduction block
  • Dysrhythmia
  • Electrophysiology
  • Interstitial cells of Cajal
  • Slow wave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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