Hearts Ablaze: Radio Frequency Ablation as Treatment for Cardiac Arrythmia
gillen, kelly; greenberg, jason; pevsner, sam; rounds, becky; schneller, quinn
This project analyzes several of the parameters involved in the use of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia. Arrhythmia is an irregular beating of the heart that can be caused by improperly timed contractions within the heart, which can, in certain circumstances, be corrected by ablating tissue. One out of every five hundred people is born with an arrhythmia and others acquire the condition through heart disease. For heart attack victims, it is the most common cause of sudden death. RFA is a common way to treat serious arrhythmia cases by cutting the short circuit through the destruction of certain tissues. We used finite element analysis along with prototyping software to determine the duration of treatment, with special attention to the damage caused to surrounding tissue. We found that the optimal parameters for most effective treatment were to administer 30V for 120 seconds ? which happens to be the standard method of operation. This destroys the necessary part of the AV node while maintaining the surrounding tissue at relatively normal temperatures.