Simulating the Spatio-Temporal Spread of Cooling Flux in Cardiac Tissue due to Catheterized Cryoablation

Michael Seger, Gerald Fischer, Michael Handler, Christian Baumgartner, and Florian Hintringer


Cryoablation, Bioheat Equation, Modeling and Simulation, Finite-Element-Method


Cryoablation for curing cardiac arrhythmias is a promising approach in clinical cardiology. It appears to have major advantages compared to ablation by radio frequency.The aim of cryoablation is to electrically inactivate cardiac tissue and thus finish arrhythmia by means of cooling the related tissue. Modeling and simulation of the spatio temporal distribution of the related non-stationary temperature field in myocardial tissue may help to optimize and thus improve the cryoablation procedure.In this work a representative geometry comprised of the cryoablation catheter and myocardial tissue was constructed and the spatio-temporal distribution of the temperature fields in time was simulated by cryoablation. The related physical model for simulation was based on the Bioheat Equation, which considers the specific parameters of organic tissue (i.e., apart from heat capacity and conductivity the production of heat due to metabolic processes and the heat transfer due to arterial blood flow in veins and arteries). The Finite-Element-Method and explicit Euler scheme was employed for solving the non-stationary problem.The results of two different simulation scenarios showed that simulating the spatio-temporal temperature fields through the cooling process of cryoablation is feasible and should help to, broaden understanding of, and optimize this process in the future.

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