Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the safety of irreversible electroporation (IRE) for renal ablation adjacent to the ureter or bowel. Materials & Methods: Six adult pigs each underwent bilateral IRE of the kidney. To simulate adjacence, the left proximal ureter and duodenum were secured onto the left and right kidney capsule, respectively. Two IRE probes were placed into the renal parenchyma and configured to bridge the ureter and bowel. Therapeutic IRE was delivered at 2000 V/cm for 70 pulses in both forward and reverse polarity. The animal was survived and euthanized at 1, 3, or 14 days. Histopathology was obtained for all potentially injured bowel and ureteral segments. Retrograde pyelogram (RPG) was performed on each left sided ureter. Results: Histologic analysis of the ureter identified reactive changes at the level of the periureteral adipose tissue which progressed from acute inflammation on day 1 to focal fibrosis by day 14. Urothelial mucosa and surrounding smooth muscle layers were unaffected at all time points. RPGs did not show any abnormalities in all specimens. Histologic analysis of the bowel demonstrated acute inflammation in the serosa and subserosal tissue on day 1. Three days after IRE, inflammation and crypt abscesses were focally present in the deep aspects of the bowel mucosa. Inflammation in the mucosal layer resolved 14 days after IRE. Conclusions: In a porcine model of renal IRE, no significant injury was apparent after intentional ablation adjacent to the ureter and bowel. IRE may be a safe alternative to thermal ablation for tumors near the ureter or bowel.

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