Experimental model of occluded biliary metal stent recanalization using irreversible electroporation via a tubular catheter

Purpose To demonstrate the feasibility of irreversible electroporation (IRE) for treating biliary metal stent occlusion in an experimental liver model. Methods and materials IRE was performed using an expandable tubular IRE-catheter placed in nitinol stents in the porcine liver. A 3-electrode IRE-catheter was connected to an IRE-generator and one hundred 100 mu s pulses of constant voltage (300, 650, 1000, and 1300 V) were applied. Stent occlusion was simulated by insertion of liver tissue both ex vivo (n = 94) and in vivo in 3 pigs (n = 14). Three scenarios of the relationship between the stent, electrodes, and inserted tissue (double contact, single contact, and stent mesh contact) were studied. Electric current was measured and resistance and power calculated. Pigs were sacrificed 72 h post-procedure. Harvested samples (14 experimental, 13 controls) underwent histopathological analysis. Results IRE application was feasible at 300 and 650 V for the single and double contact setup in both ex vivo and in vivo studies. Significant differences in calculated resistance between double contact and single contact settings were observed (ex-vivo p < 0.0001, in-vivo p = 0.02; Mann-Whitney). A mild temperature increase of the surrounding liver parenchyma was noted with increasing voltage (0.9-5.9 degrees C for 300-1000 V). The extent of necrotic changes in experimental samples in vivo correlated with the measured electric current (r (2) = 0.39, p = 0.01). No complications were observed during or after the in-vivo procedure. Conclusion Endoluminal IRE using an expandable tubular catheter in simulated metal stent occlusion is feasible. The relationship of active catheter electrodes to stent ingrowth tissue can be estimated based on resistance values.
International Journal of Hyperthermia. 2021, vol. 38, issue 1, p. 393-401.
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