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Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 1989 Feb;12(2):347-57.

Transvascular argon laser ablation of atrioventricular conduction in dogs: feasibility and morphological results.

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Department of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville 32610.


The purpose of this study was to ablate atrioventricular (AV) conduction in dogs with an argon laser using a transvascular approach. Six dogs were anesthetized and underwent a right thoracotomy and atriotomy. A bipolar #7 French lumen catheter containing a 400 u silica fiber was used to map the region of the AV junction. When a stable His deflection was obtained, the silica fiber was extruded from the end of the catheter and argon laser radiation was delivered for up to 20 s at 3.0-4.5 watts. In five of six dogs, complete heart block was successfully created after 3 to 15 lasings. A continuous His bundle electrogram in one dog showed gradual prolongation of the HV interval before the development of complete infrahisian block. The mean R-R intervals in the five dogs with complete heart block increased from 435 +/- 56 ms to 1216 +/- 197 ms (P less than 0.001), and the QRS duration increased from 78 +/- 26 ms to 91 +/- 19 ms (P = ns). Gross inspection showed multiple 1-2 mm2 craters in the atria just above the tricuspid valve ring. Complications included one instance each of aortic root perforation and creation of a small ventricular septal defect. These lesions were so small that there was no hemodynamic compromise in either animal in which they occurred and the lesions themselves were only detected on careful postmortem examination. Histology revealed two patterns of injury involved in conduction ablation. One was direct vaporization of tissue resulting in a wedge shaped incision and the other was formation of a hematoma and thermal necrosis at the lasing site with little evidence of tissue vaporization. Although catheter modifications are necessary to avoid perforation, this study demonstrates that ablation of conduction can be successfully accomplished using an argon laser.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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