The feasibility of using thermal strain imaging to regulate energy delivery during intracardiac radio-frequency ablation

Chi Hyung Seo, Douglas N. Stephens, Jonathan Cannata, Aaron Dentinger, Feng Lin, Suhyun Park, Douglas Wildes, Kai E. Thomenius, Peter Chen, Tho Nguyen, Alan De La Rama, Jong Seob Jeong, Aman Mahajan, Kalyanam Shivkumar, Amin Nikoozadeh, Omer Oralkan, Uyen Truong, David J. Sahn, Pierre T. Khuri-Yakub, Matthew O'Donnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


A method is introduced to monitor cardiac ablative therapy by examining slope changes in the thermal strain curve caused by speed of sound variations with temperature. The sound speed of water-bearing tissue such as cardiac muscle increases with temperature. However, at temperatures above about 50°C, there is no further increase in the sound speed and the temperature coefficient may become slightly negative. For ablation therapy, an irreversible injury to tissue and a complete heart block occurs in the range of 48 to 50°C for a short period in accordance with the well-known Arrhenius equation. Using these two properties, we propose a potential tool to detect the moment when tissue damage occurs by using the reduced slope in the thermal strain curve as a function of heating time. We have illustrated the feasibility of this method initially using porcine myocardium in vitro. The method was further demonstrated in vivo, using a specially equipped ablation tip and an 11-MHz microlinear intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) array mounted on the tip of a catheter. The thermal strain curves showed a plateau, strongly suggesting that the temperature reached at least 50°C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5953996
Pages (from-to)1406-1417
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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