Publication Date



The Texas Heart Institute Journal





Publication Date(s)

August 2020





PubMedCentral® Posted Date


PubMedCentral® Full Text Version


Published Open-Access



Ablation techniques/methods, ethanol/therapeutic use, methanol/therapeutic use, image processing, computer-assisted


Ethanol solubilizes cell membranes, making it useful for various ablation applications. We examined the effect of time and alcohol type on the extent of ablation, quantified as Euclidean distances between color coordinates. We obtained biopsy punch samples (diameter, 6 mm) of left atrial appendage, atrial, ventricular, and septal tissue from porcine hearts and placed them in transwell plates filled with ethanol or methanol for 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, or 60 min. Control samples were taken for each time point. At each time point, samples were collected, cut transversely, and photographed. With use of a custom MATLAB program, all images were analyzed in the CIELAB color space, which is more perceptually uniform than the red-green-blue color space. Euclidean distances were calculated from CIELAB coordinates. The mean and standard error of these distances were analyzed. Two-way analysis of variance was used to test for differences among time points, and 2-tailed t tests, for differences between the alcohol datasets at each time point. Generally, Euclidean distances differed significantly between all time points, except for those immediately adjacent, and methanol produced larger Euclidean distances than ethanol did. Some tissue showed a plateauing effect, potentially indicating transmurality. Mean Euclidean distances effectively indexed alcohol ablation in cardiac tissue. Furthermore, we found that methanol ablated tissue more effectively than ethanol did. With ethanol, the extent of ablation for atrial tissue was largest at 60 min. We conclude that to achieve full transmurality in clinical applications, ethanol must remain in contact with atrial tissue for at least one hour.



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