Photoacoustic imaging of atrial ablation

Researchers:  Sophinese Iskander-Rizk 

Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition whereby patients suffer from irregular heart pacing. One of the treatments for this condition is to terminate the unwanted conduction blocks in the heart by ablation. PARFAIT project targets guidance of ablation for atrial fibrillation using photoacoustics (PA). Currently surgeons rely on indirect measures to evaluate the lesion made; this results in a considerable rate of inefficient lesions or complications (ablation gaps, over ablation or re-conduction). In this project we aim to provide a visual evaluation of the lesion made in real-time. A plausible illustration of such a system is depicted in Figure 1.
Image quality and monitoring reliability depends on different parameters such as imaging wavelength, image and signal processing and device design and integration to the ablation procedure.

Figure 1 An ablation catheter is augmented with laser light delivery capability to generate PA signal. The signal is detected using intra cardiac echography probe during ablation.