Abstract

The application of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has been widely explored in treating various types of cardiac arrhythmias. Computational modelling provides a safe and viable alternative to ex vivo and in vivo experimental studies for quantifying the effects of different variables efficiently and reliably, apart from providing a priori estimates of the ablation volume attained during cardiac ablation procedures. In this contribution, we report a fully coupled thermo-electro-mechanical model for a more accurate prediction of the treatment outcomes during the radiofrequency cardiac ablation. A numerical model comprising of cardiac tissue and the cardiac chamber has been developed in which an electrode has been inserted perpendicular to the cardiac tissue to simulate actual clinical procedures. Temperature-dependent heat capacity, electrical and thermal conductivities, and blood perfusion rate have been considered to model more realistic scenarios. The effects of blood flow and contact force of the electrode tip on the efficacy of a fully coupled model of RFA have been systematically investigated. The numerical study predicts that the efficacy of RFA is significantly dependent on the thermo-electro-mechanical parameters of the cardiac tissue.

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