Water-circulating probes significantly modify lesion length and axon damage in cooled radiofrequency ablations when compared with similar-sized standard radiofrequency probes in rats

Alyssa Cobbs, Guillermo Alas, Ruchi Yadav, Jacques Mayeux, Maxim S. Eckmann, David Anthony Provenzano, Arthur W. English, Alencia Washington, Ruoya Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Preclinical research demonstrated water-cooled radiofrequency (CRF) ablations have a significant impact on structural and functional changes compared to standard radiofrequency (SRF) ablations. Clinical procedures utilizing RF to treat chronic pain conditions also show sustained functional outcomes. We hypothesize that the design of the RF probes plays an important role in interventional procedure success, but it remains unclear which specific design features. Methods: RF ablations were performed in male Lewis rats (n=51) using multiple-sized probes for CRF (17 Ga/2 mm and 17Ga/4 mm) and SRF (22Ga/5 mm, 18Ga/10 mm and 16Ga/10 mm) to evaluate generator energy output, lesion length, axon damage by histology and nerve function analysis via electromyography. To exclude probe design variables beyond size and remain objective, we tested cooled probes with and without water circulation, which resulted in the CRF probe performing like an SRF probe. Results: Consistent with our previous findings in smaller probes, CRF large probes delivered more energy (p<0.01) and generated multiple zones of thermal damage in sciatic nerves. When the water-circulating feature was turned off, however, energy output (p<0.001) and lesion length (p<0.05) was significantly reduced. CRF probes with the water circulation also featured significantly more axonal disruption, than larger sized SRF probes (p<0.0001). Conclusions: Overall, this data confirms that CRF's water-circulating technology has a greater impact on energy deposition, lesion length and axon damage compared with SRF ablations. Moreover, results suggest that the structural differences between RF modalities cannot be solely attributed to probe size, and it may shed light on its differences in clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberrapm-2023-104554
JournalRegional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • Animal Experimentation
  • CHRONIC PAIN
  • Pain Management
  • Peripheral Nerve Injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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