John H. Rossmeisl Jr.; Paulo A. Garcia; John L. Roberston; Thomas L. Ellis; Rafael V. Davalos
This study describes the neuropathologic features of normal canine brain ablated with non-thermal irreversible electroporation (N-TIRE). The parietal cerebral cortices of four dogs were treated with N-TIRE using a dose-escalation protocol with an additional dog receiving sham treatment. Animals were allowed to recover following N-TIRE ablation and the effects of treatment were monitored with clinical and magnetic resonance imaging examinations. Brains were subjected to histopathologic and ultrastructural assessment along with Bcl-2, caspase-3, and caspase-9 immunohistochemical staining following sacrifice 72h post-treatment. Adverse clinical effects of N-TIRE were only observed in the dog treated at the upper energy tier. MRI and neuropathologic examinations indicated that N-TIRE ablation resulted in focal regions of severe cytoarchitectural and blood-brain-barrier disruption. Lesion size correlated to the intensity of the applied electrical field. N-TIRE-induced lesions were characterized by parenchymal necrosis and hemorrhage;however, large blood vessels were preserved. A transition zone containing parenchymal edema, perivascular inflammatory cuffs, and reactive gliosis was interspersed between the necrotic focus and normal neuropil. Apoptotic labeling indices were not different between the N-TIRE-treated and control brains. This study identified N-TIRE pulse parameters that can be used to safely create circumscribed foci of brain necrosis while selectively preserving major vascular structures.