• catheter ablation;
  • epicardium;
  • radiofrequency;
  • pericarditis

Introduction: Pericarditis is a potential complication of catheter-based percutaneous epicardial mapping and ablation. This study evaluates the efficacy and safety of intrapericardial instillation of anti-inflammatory agents after pericardial mapping and ablation in a porcine model of postprocedural pericarditis.

Methods and Results: Twenty-five healthy swine underwent epicardial mapping and ablation after transthoracic subxyphoid puncture. After 60 minutes of continuous catheter manipulation in the pericardial space, radiofrequency energy was delivered in a linear fashion to the epicardial surfaces of both atria. The animals were randomly divided to receive the anti-inflammatory agents, Hyaluronic Acid and Triamcinolone, or control. Fourteen days after ablation, the hearts were excised and the degree of pericardial reaction/adhesions scored. The severity was uniformly graded 4 (intense) in all control animals and was characterized by intense adhesion between the parietal and the visceral pericardium obscuring tissue planes and epicardial anatomy. Hyaluronic Acid provided a mild benefit (score 3.0 ± 0.9), but 2 mg/kg of Triamcinolone significantly attenuated the inflammatory effect (all animals uniformly scored 1.0).

Conclusion: In a porcine model of ablation-related pericarditis, intrapericardial instillation of 2 mg/kg of intermediate-acting corticosteroids effectively prevents post-procedure inflammatory adhesion formation.