Radiofrequency Ablation of the Atherosclerotic Plaque: a Proof of Concept Study in an Atherosclerotic Model

Guilielmus H.J.M. Ellenbroek, Gerardus P.J. van Hout, Saskia C.A. de Jager, Leo Timmers, Aryan Vink, Roel Goldschmeding, Petra van der Kraak, Gerard Pasterkamp, Imo E. Hoefer, Petrus A. Doevendans, Yolande Appelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Increased plaque vascularization is causatively associated with the progression of unstable atherosclerotic vessel disease. We investigated the safety and efficacy of heat-generating radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in reducing the number of vessels in the plaque and adventitia and its effect on plaque size and composition. To this end, New Zealand White rabbits were fed a cholesterol-enriched diet and subjected to balloon denudation of the infrarenal aorta to induce atherosclerotic plaque formation. After 13 weeks, the proximal or distal half of the infrarenal aorta was exposed to transluminal RFA. The untreated half served as an intra-individual control. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) was performed directly after RFA. We found that RFA on the rabbit atherosclerotic plaque is safe and leads to decreased intraplaque vessel density and smooth muscle cell content but does not affect other components of plaque composition or size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-232
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of cardiovascular translational research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Neovascularization
  • Plaque progression
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Smooth muscle cell
  • Vasa vasorum

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