Steam pops during irrigated radiofrequency ablation: feasibility of impedance monitoring for prevention

Seiler, Jens; Roberts-Thomson, Kurt C; Raymond, Jean-Marc; Vest, John; Delacretaz, Etienne; Stevenson, William G (2008). Steam pops during irrigated radiofrequency ablation: feasibility of impedance monitoring for prevention. Heart rhythm, 5(10), pp. 1411-6. New York, N.Y.: Elsevier 10.1016/j.hrthm.2008.07.011

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BACKGROUND: Steam pops are a risk of irrigated radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFA) and may cause cardiac perforation. Data to guide radiofrequency (RF) energy titration to avoid steam pops are limited. OBJECTIVE: This study sought to assess the frequency and consequence of audible pops and to determine the feasibility of using the magnitude of impedance change to predict pops. METHODS: We reviewed consecutive endocardial open-irrigated RFA for ventricular tachycardia (VT) with continuously recorded ablation data in 142 patients with structural heart disease. Steam pops were defined as an audible pop associated with a sudden spike in impedance. Ablation lesions before or after pops served as controls. RESULTS: From a total of 4,107 ablation lesions, 62 (1.5%) steam pops occurred in 42 procedures in 38 patients. Perforation with tamponade occurred with 1 of 62 (2%) pops. Applications with pops had a greater impedance decrease (22 +/- 7 Omega vs. 18 +/- 8 Omega, P = .001) and a higher maximum power (45 +/- 5 W vs. 43 +/- 6 W, P = .011), but did not differ in maximum catheter tip temperature (40 degrees C +/- 4 degrees C vs. 40 degrees C +/- 4 degrees C, P = .180) from applications without pops. Eighty percent of pops occurred after impedance decreased by at least 18 Omega. CONCLUSION: During VT ablation with open irrigation, audible pops are infrequent and do not usually cause perforation. Limiting RF power to achieve an impedance decrease of <18 Omega is a feasible method of reducing the likelihood of a pop when perforation risk is of concern.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Cardiovascular Disorders (DHGE) > Clinic of Cardiology

UniBE Contributor:

Delacrétaz, Etienne










Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:02

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:19

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URI: (FactScience: 99168)

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