Incidence of tissue coring during transseptal catheterization when using electrocautery and a standard transseptal needle

Eugene Greenstein, Rod Passman, Albert C. Lin, Bradley P. Knight*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Background-The application of radiofrequency electrocautery to a standard, open-ended transseptal needle has been used to facilitate transseptal puncture (TSP). The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of cardiac tissue coring when this technique is used. Methods and Results-A model using excised swine hearts submerged in a saline-filled basin was developed to simulate TSP with electrocautery and a standard transseptal needle. Punctures were performed without the use of electrocautery and by delivering radiofrequency energy to the transseptal needle using a standard electrocautery pen at 3 target sites (fossa ovalis, non-fossa ovalis septum, and aorta). The tissue of the submerged heart was gently tented, and the needle was advanced on delivery of radiofrequency. The devices were retracted, and the needle was flushed in a collection basin. None of the TSPs without cautery caused tissue coring. For TSPs using electrocautery, the frequency of coring was at least 21% for any puncture permutation used in the study and averaged 37% at septal sites (P<0.001 compared with punctures without cautery). Tissue coring occurred in 33 of 96 (35%) punctures through the fossa ovalis and in 38 of 96 (40%) punctures through non-fossa ovalis septum. The frequency of tissue coring at aortic sites was 62 of 96 (65%), which was significantly higher than at the septal sites (P<0.001). Conclusions-In an animal preparation, TSP at the level of the fossa ovalis using electrocautery and a standard open-ended Brockenbrough needle resulted in coring of the septal tissue in 35% of cases (33 of 96 punctures).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-344
Number of pages4
JournalCirculation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012


  • Electrocautery
  • Embolism
  • Fossa ovalis
  • Transseptal catheterization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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