Overview of Thermal Ablation Devices: Radiofrequency Ablation
“Thermal ablation” is de fi ned as the application of heating agents to a specific area of the body with the intention of tissue destruction. The deleterious effect of heat is based on the fact that when biological tissues reach a temperature above 45°C, irreversible cell damage occurs. Radiofrequency (RF) ablation is based on the interaction between high-f requency, rapidly alternating electric current and biological tissue. The rapidly alternating electric current causes vibration movement of the tissue’s bipolar molecules (mostly water). This vibration movement is transmitted between adjacent molecules with resulting frictional energy loss. The energy loss is deposited in the biological tissues in the form of a rise in temperature. The rise in temperature leads initially to hyperthermia and then to “coagulation” necrosis.