Septal Ablation Induced by Transthoracic High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound in Canines

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High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) can achieve accurate and focused deep tissue ablation through an extracorporeal emission. Cardiac ablation using HIFU applied transthoracically must overcome potential interference from intervening thoracic structures. The aim of this study was to explore the efficacy and safety of septal ablation that was induced using transthoracic HIFU.


Twenty-one canines were pretreated to improve acoustic transmission. Single ablations were induced by targeting transthoracic HIFU with acoustic power of 400 W for 3 sec at the middle and basal septum in eight canines. Extended ablations were performed to create larger lesions at the basal septum in eight more canines. The three-dimensional morphology of a basal septum lesion induced by a single ablation was analyzed. The temperature at the ablative targets was measured in the other five canines.


The cardiomyocytes in the lesions underwent necrosis with a clear boundary. The three-dimensional morphology of the lesions appeared approximately as ellipsoids with a flatter endocardial side. The peak temperature at a power of 400 W for 3 sec was 93.27 ± 2.54°C, and it remained >50°C for nearly 10 sec. No procedure-related complications were observed.


Ultrasound-guided transthoracic HIFU has the potential to safely create small dot or large mass lesions in the septum without a thoracotomy or a catheter.

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