Low pressure radiofrequency balloon angioplasty: Evaluation in porcine peripheral arteries

Daniel B. Fram, Linda D. Gillam, Thomas A. Aretz, Rogelio V. Tangco, Joseph F. Mitchel, John P. Fisher, Brenda W. Sanzobrino, Francis J. Kiernan, Sigfus Nikulasson, Arnold Fieldman, Raymond G. McKay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of radiofrequency-powered thermal balloon angioplasty in an in vivo porcine model. Background. Various modes of thermal energy used adjunctively during balloon angioplasty have demonstrated the potential to enhance the results of acute lumen dilation. Methods. In normal pigs, 75 peripheral arteries were dilated with a newly designed, radiofrequency-powered, thermal angioplasty balloon. All inflations were performed at 2-atm pressure for 85 s. Dilations were performed either with (hot) or without (cold) the application of heat. Lumen dimensions and vessel morphology were assessed with intravascular ultrasonography. At the end of each study, dilated arterial segments were harvested for histologic examination. Results. Single cold balloon inflations resulted in a 12.7% increase in arterial cross-sectional area whereas single hot inflations resulted in a 22.9% increase (p < 0.03). Similarly, when multiple cold inflations were compared with multiple hot inflations, two, three and four sequential hot inflations resulted in a significantly greater increase in cross-sectional area than an equivalent number of cold inflations (p < 0.03). Histologic examination demonstrated a temperaturedependent effect on the depth of medial necrosis and extent of arterial wall thinning (p < 0.001) as well as evidence for uniform alteration of elastic tissue fibers at temperatures of ≥60 °C (p < 0.03). Conclusions. Low pressure radiofrequency thermal balloon angioplasty results in a greater increase in cross-sectional area in porcine peripheral arteries than does nonheated conventional balloon angioplasty. The pathologic basis for this enhanced dilation may be a temperature-dependent effect on medial necrosis, thinning of the arterial wall or alteration of vascular elastic fibers, alone or in combination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1512-1521
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 1993


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