Acta Vet. Brno 2016, 85: 133-137

Selective effect of irreversible electroporation on parenchyma of the pancreas and its vascular structures - an in vivo experiment on a porcine model

Roman Svatoň1, Jan Hlavsa1, Zdeněk Kala1, Vladimír Procházka1, Katarína Gašparová1, Michal Crha2, Alois Nečas2, Petr Raušer2, Tomáš Andrašina3, Vladimír Válek3, Iva Svobodová4

1University Hospital and Masaryk University Brno, Department of Surgery, Brno, Czech Republic
2University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Surgery and Orthopedics, Small Animal Clinic, Brno, Czech Republic
3University Hospital and Masaryk University Brno, Department of Radiology, Brno, Czech Republic
4St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno, Department of Pathology, Brno, Czech Republic

Received January 28, 2016
Accepted June 1, 2016

Irreversible electroporation is a local, non-thermal ablation method, where short electrical pulses of high voltage lead to changes in cell membrane permeability and cell death. Recent experimental studies have shown that it does not lead to damage of blood vessels, nerves, bile duct or ureters. The aim of our experimental study was to evaluate the negative effect of irreversible electroporation regarding damage to the vascular wall and porcine pancreatic tissue. Irreversible electroporation of the pancreas was performed in 6 pigs after medial laparotomy. Irreversible electroporation was applied to each pig to the splenic lobe of the pancreas in order to assess damage to the pancreatic tissue and to the duodenal lobe of the pancreas to assess damage to the vascular structure of the pancreatic tissue. Higher ablation electric intensity (minimum 500 V/cm – maximum 1,750 V/cm, step 250 V/cm) in 90 μs pulses was utilized on each pig. After 7 days, macroscopic and microscopic evaluations of en bloc resected specimen (pancreas with duodenum) were performed. During 7 post-ablation days, no deaths or clinical worsening occurred in any of the pigs. Necrotic changes in the pancreatic tissue were recorded at an electric intensity of 750 V/cm. Changes in the outer layers of the wall of the arteries and veins occurred at 1,000 V/cm. Transmural vascular wall damage was not recorded in any case. Irreversible electroporation allows for relatively efficient cell death in the target tissues. Our independent experimental work confirms the safety of this method towards vascular structures located in the ablation zone.


This work was supported by the Grant Agency of the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic (IGA MZ ČR, Project No. NT 14579-3/2013).


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