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J Biomed Opt. 2011 Nov;16(11):110505. doi: 10.1117/1.3656966.

In vivo intracardiac optical coherence tomography imaging through percutaneous access: toward image-guided radio-frequency ablation.


Complete catheter-tissue contact and permanent tissue destruction are essential for efficient radio-frequency ablation (RFA) during cardiac arrhythmia treatment. Current methods of monitoring lesion formation are indirect and unreliable. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of using optical coherence tomography (OCT) catheter to image endocardial wall in actively beating hearts through percutaneous access. We reported the first in vivo intracardiac OCT imaging through percutaneous access with a thin and flexible OCT catheter. This is a critical step toward image-guided RFA in a clinical setting. A cone-scanning forward-viewing OCT catheter was advanced into beating hearts through percutaneous access in four swine. The OCT catheter was steered by an introducer to touch the endocardial wall. We are able to acquire high quality OCT images in beating hearts, observe the polarization-related artifacts induced by the birefringence of myocardium, and readily evaluate catheter-tissue contact. The observations indicate that OCT could be a promising technique for in vivo guidance of RFA.

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