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Stephen A. LoBue, Prashant Tailor, Jarel K. Gandhi, Paul Loftness, Timothy W. Olsen; A Model to Study Thermal Energy Delivery to the Choroid: A Comparison of Surgical Devices. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2018;7(6):39. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.7.6.39.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We measure and compare surgical devices using an ex vivo, temperature-controlled, choroidal incision model during thermal energy transfer with a high-resolution infrared camera.
Ex vivo porcine choroidal tissue specimens (n = 516) were isolated and placed on a temperature-regulated (37°C) perfusion platform. We tested the pulsed electron avalanche knife (PEAK), micropulse laser (MpL), continuous laser (CL), and bipolar cautery (BpC) at three energy settings (11 [low], 45 [medium], and 134 [high] mJ/mm). Each device was clamped to a stationary mechanical arm. Movement of tissue specimens beneath the surgical device was achieved using a stepping motor-driven x-y table. An infrared video camera measured orthogonal temperature variation in the surrounding tissue.
Increased power resulted in greater lateral thermal spread using all modalities (P < 0.001). Mean (standard deviation) lateral thermal spread at low energy was smallest for the MpL at 0.0 (0.01) mm (P < 0.001), whereas BpC had the least collateral tissue damage at medium and high energies (0.02 [0.08] and 0.34 [0.22] mm, respectively; P < 0.001). Fluidics of the ex vivo system may limit thermal spread. The PEAK had the greatest thermal spread across all energy groups (P < 0.001), with clinically relevant variation between disposable blades.
Our ex vivo model enabled direct comparison of threshold thermal tissue injury across four devices. MpL and BpC showed the least thermal damage. PEAK had a higher variation in energy delivery, but also has the advantage of more effective tissue cutting.
Our ex vivo surgical device analysis provides thermal tissue injury predictions for choroidal surgery.
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