Open-chest Pulsed Electric Field Ablation of Cardiac Ganglionated Plexi in Acute Canine Models

Martin van Zyl, Mariam Khabsa, Jason A. Tri, Thomas P. Ladas, Omar Z. Yasin, Adetola O. Ladejobi, John Reilly, Barry O’Brien, Kenneth Coffey, Samuel J. Asirvatham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to evaluate the safety and acute effect on markers of cardiac autonomic tone following pulsed electric fields (PEFs) delivered to epicardial ganglionated plexi (GP) during a cardiac surgical procedure. Ablation of GP as a treatment for atrial fibrillation (AF) has shown promise, but thermal ablation energy sources are limited by the risk of inadvertent collateral tissue injury. In acute canine experiments, median sternotomy was performed to facilitate the identification of 5 epicardial GP regions using an anatomy-guided approach. Each site was targeted with saline-irrigated PEF (1000 V, 100 μs, 10 electrocardiogram [ECG]-synchronized pulse sequences). Atrial effective refractory period (AERP) and local electrogram (EGM) amplitude were measured before and after each treatment. Histology was performed on samples from treatment-adjacent structures. In 5 animals, 30 (n = 2) and 60 (n = 3) pulses were successfully delivered to each of the 5 target sites. There was no difference in local atrial EGM amplitude before and after PEF application at each site (1.83 ± 0.41 vs. 1.92 ± 0.53 mV, P = .72). The mean AERP increased from 97 ± 15 ms at baseline to 115 ± 7 ms following treatment at all sites (18.6% increase; 95% confidence interval, 1.9–35.2; P = .037). There were no sustained ventricular arrhythmias or acute evidence of ischemia following delivery. Histology showed complete preservation of adjacent atrial myocardium, phrenic nerves, pericardium, and esophagus. Use of PEF to target regions rich in cardiac GP in open-chest canine experiments was feasible and effective at acutely altering markers of cardiac autonomic tone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5061-5069
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Innovations in Cardiac Rhythm Management
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Ganglionated plexi
  • atrial fibrillation
  • cardiac denervation
  • electroporation
  • pulsed electric fields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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