The effect of half-normal saline irrigation on lesion characteristics in temperature-flow-controlled ablation

Takashi Ikenouchi, Masateru Takigawa, Masahiko Goya, Junji Yamaguchi, Claire A. Martin, Tasuku Yamamoto, Miho Negishi, Iwanari Kawamura, Kentaro Goto, Takatoshi Shigeta, Takuro Nishimura, Tomomasa Takamiya, Susumu Tao, Shinsuke Miyazaki, Tetsuo Sasano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Radiofrequency (RF) ablation with half-normal saline (HNS) irrigation is reported to potentially enlarge local lesion compared to normal saline (NS) in power-controlled ablation (PC-Abl). However, the effect of HNS-irrigation in temperature-flow-controlled ablation (TFC-Abl) on lesion characteristics is unknown. We compared this between TFC-Abl with QDOT-Micro™ catheter and PC-Abl with Thermocool SmartTouch SF™ catheter (STSF). Methods: RF-application with NS (n = 480) and HNS (n = 480) irrigation were performed on swine myocardium placed in a circulating saline bath. Lesion characteristics without steam-pops under various conditions (target AI, 400/550; ablation power, 30/50 W; contact force, 10/20/30 g; catheter orientation, perpendicular/parallel) were assessed and compared between two irrigants. Results: After matching, 343 lesions without steam-pops in each group were evaluated. In PC-Abl, lesion size did not differ between two groups (NS, 188 ± 97 vs. HNS, 200 ± 95 mm3, p = 0.28 in volume; 33.9 ± 7.3 vs. 34.8 ± 9.5 mm2, p = 0.34 in surface area; and 4.0 ± 1.0 vs. 4.0 ± 1.0 mm, p = 0.81 in depth), but steam-pops were more frequently observed with HNS-irrigation (23.8% vs. 37.9%, p = 0.001). Contrary, in TFC-Abl, HNS-irrigation produced significantly larger (214 ± 106 vs. 243 ± 128 mm3, p = 0.017) and deeper (4.0 ± 1.0 vs. 4.3 ± 1.1 mm, p = 0.002) lesions without increasing the risk of steam-pops (15.0% vs 15.0%, p = 0.99). Automatic temperature-guided titration was more frequently observed in HNS-irrigation (54.8% vs. 78.5%, p < 0.001). Conclusions: TFC-Abl with QDOT-Micro™ catheter utilizing HNS-irrigation might increase volume and depth of local lesion without increasing the risk of stem-pops compared to NS-irrigation. Graphical abstract: Power-controlled ablation with HNS-irrigation showed similar focal lesion with higher incidence of steam-pops (SPs) compared to normal saline (NS) irrigation. Contrary, temperature-flow-controlled ablation with HNS-irrigation provided larger and deeper lesion than NS-irrigation with similar incidence of SPs. ns, p > 0.05; *, 0.01 < p ≤ 0.05; **, 0.005 < p ≤ 0.01. HNS, half-normal saline; NS, normal saline. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Catheter ablation
  • Half-normal saline
  • Irrigation
  • Radiofrequency
  • Temperature-flow-controlled ablation


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