The radiofrequency ablation (RFA) lesion size is posited to be disproportionate to the total delivered energy, and temperature-time integration (TTI) may have a more critical effect on lesion size. The present study aimed to evaluate this hypothesis by determining the temperature threshold and temperature distribution over tissues during the RFA lesioning process. Using an ex vivo chicken tissue model and an in vivo rabbit model with RFA applied for 2 min under various target temperature settings, the resultant lesions were evaluated histologically using Masson's trichrome stain. The temperature distribution over the tissue during the RFA lesioning process was also determined using a VT02 Visual IR Thermometer. It was revealed that the thermal injury threshold for RFA in the chicken tissues was ~65˚C, but that it ranged from 55-65˚C in mammals. Using infra-red thermal imaging, the temperature gradient (from the center to the periphery) during the RFA lesioning process demonstrated a uniform heat diffusion pattern. This data supports the proposed hypothesis that TTI is a critical parameter in determining RFA lesion size and can be applied clinically using the following equation: [Target temperature - 55 (˚C)] x time (sec) is proportional to RFA lesion size.
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