Clinical Use of Cooled Radiofrequency Ablation


  • Dr. Stevenson is a consultant to Biosense-Webster and has received speaking honoraria from Boston Scientific, St. Jude Medical, and Medtronic. Dr. Seiler has received a research grant from St. Jude Medical.

  • Manuscript received 4 February 2008; Revised manuscript received 1 March 2008; Accepted for publication 3 March 2008.

  • Section Editor: Hugh Calkins, M.D.

Address for correspondence: William G. Stevenson, M.D., Cardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis St., Boston, MA 02115, USA. Fax: 617-277-4981; E-mail:


Irrigated (cooled) radiofrequency (RF) ablation has become our primary ablation tool for treating atrial fibrillation, macroreentrant atrial tachycardias, and scar-related ventricular tachycardias. As with any technology that increases ablation lesion size, there is the potential for increased risk. The methods described are a cautious approach to power titration that considers the risks of excessive heating and the lesion size needed for a particular site. Future methods of assessing lesion creation will hopefully refine energy titration to improve safety and efficacy of cooled RF ablation.