Localized bioelectrical conduction block from radiofrequency gastric ablation persists after healing: safety and feasibility in a recovery model

Zahra Aghababaie, Gregory O'Grady, Linley A. Nisbet, Andre E. Modesto, Chih Hsiang Alexander Chan, Ashton Matthee, Satya Amirapu, Arthur Beyder, Gianrico Farrugia, Samuel J. Asirvatham, Gregory B. Sands, Niranchan Paskaranandavadivel, Leo K. Cheng, Timothy R. Angeli-Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gastric ablation has demonstrated potential to induce conduction blocks and correct abnormal electrical activity (i.e., ectopic slow-wave propagation) in acute, intraoperative in vivo studies. This study aimed to evaluate the safety and feasibility of gastric ablation to modulate slow-wave conduction after 2 wk of healing. Chronic in vivo experiments were performed in weaner pigs (n = 6). Animals were randomly divided into two groups: sham-ablation (n = 3, control group; no power delivery, room temperature, 5 s/point) and radiofrequency (RF) ablation (n = 3; temperature-control mode, 65°C, 5 s/point). In the initial surgery, high-resolution serosal electrical mapping (16 × 16 electrodes; 6 × 6 cm) was performed to define the baseline slow-wave activation profile. Ablation (sham/RF) was then performed in the mid-corpus, in a line around the circumferential axis of the stomach, followed by acute postablation mapping. All animals recovered from the procedure, with no sign of perforation or other complications. Two weeks later, intraoperative high-resolution mapping was repeated. High-resolution mapping showed that ablation successfully induced sustained conduction blocks in all cases in the RF-ablation group at both the acute and 2 wk time points, whereas all sham-controls had no conduction block. Histological and immunohistochemical evaluation showed that after 2 wk of healing, the lesions were in the inflammation and early proliferation phase, and interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) were depleted and/or deformed within the ablation lesions. This safety and feasibility study demonstrates that gastric ablation can safely and effectively induce a sustained localized conduction block in the stomach without disrupting the surrounding slow-wave conduction capability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G640-G652
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • dysrhythmia
  • electrophysiology
  • gastrointestinal
  • interstitial cells of Cajal
  • slow wave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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