Electrophysiological Changes Correlated with Temperature Increases Induced by High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation

Ronald E. Kumon
Ziqi Wu
Jacob I. Laughner
Igor R. Efimov
Cheri X. Deng, University of Michigan


To gain better understanding of the detailed mechanisms of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) ablation for cardiac arrhythmias, we investigated how the cellular electrophysiological (EP) changes were correlated with temperature increases and thermal dose (cumulative equivalent minutes [CEM43]) during HIFU application using Langendorff-perfused rabbit hearts. Employing voltage-sensitive dye di-4-ANEPPS, we measured the EP and temperature during HIFU using simultaneous optical mapping and infrared imaging. Both action potential amplitude (APA) and action potential duration at 50% repolarization (APD50) decreased with temperature increases, and APD50 was more thermally sensitive than APA. EP and tissue changes were irreversible when HIFU-induced temperature increased above 52.3 ± 1.4°C and log10(CEM43) above 2.16 ± 0.51 (n = 5), but were reversible when temperature was below 50.1 ± 0.8°C and log10(CEM43) below –0.9 ± 0.3 (n = 9). EP and temperature/thermal dose changes were spatially correlated with HIFU-induced tissue necrosis surrounded by a transition zone.