Advances in Irrigated Tip Catheter Technology for Treatment of Cardiac Arrhythmias
Radiofrequency catheter ablation without active cooling of the catheter tip is associated with significantly increased
risk of thrombus formation and thromboembolism, especially when multiple and high-energy deliveries are considered.
Therefore, irrigation of the distal electrode has become obligatory for catheter ablation of complex cardiac arrhythmias.
The advancement in the cooling catheter technology is aimed to further reduce the risk of steam pop as well as
coagulum formation on both electrode and tissue, and to maximize energy transfer to the tissue. Whether novel catheter
designs will translate into better success rates of catheter ablation and lower risk of complications remains to be evaluated
by upcoming studies. In future, a combination with novel sensors that enable online monitoring of lesion creation is expected.
Such technology should allow optimization of radiofrequency delivery without risk of deep tissue overheating and
steam pop creation. Recent patents in the field of irrigated ablation catheter focus mainly on novel porous materials that
would enable diffuse irrigation around the catheter tip and alternative layout of irrigation holes. Additionally, some patents
deal with combination of irrigation fluid tubing and different sensors located within the catheter tip.
Keywords: Atrial fibrillation, catheter ablation, cool flow, irrigated tip technology, radiofrequency current.
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