Send to

Choose Destination
J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008 Oct 7;52(15):1263-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2008.05.062.

New magnetic resonance imaging-based method for defining the extent of left atrial wall injury after the ablation of atrial fibrillation.

Author information

Radiology Department, University of Utah School of Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.



We describe a noninvasive method of detecting and quantifying left atrial (LA) wall injury after pulmonary vein antrum isolation (PVAI) in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Using a 3-dimensional (3D) delayed-enhancement magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequence and novel processing methods, LA wall scarring is visualized at high resolution after radiofrequency ablation (RFA).


Radiofrequency ablation to achieve PVAI is a promising approach to curing AF. Controlled lesion delivery and scar formation within the LA are indicators of procedural success, but the assessment of these factors is limited to invasive methods. Noninvasive evaluation of LA wall injury to assess permanent tissue injury may be an important step in improving procedural success.


Imaging of the LA wall with a 3D delayed-enhanced cardiac MRI sequence was performed before and 3 months after ablation in 46 patients undergoing PVAI for AF. Our 3D respiratory-navigated MRI sequence using parallel imaging resulted in 1.25 x 1.25 x 2.5 mm (reconstructed to 0.6 x 0.6 x 1.25 mm) spatial resolution with imaging times ranging 8 to 12 min.


Radiofrequency ablation resulted in hyperenhancement of the LA wall in all patients post-PVAI and may represent tissue scarring. New methods of reconstructing the LA in 3D allowed quantification of LA scarring using automated methods. Arrhythmia recurrence at 3 months correlated with the degree of wall enhancement with >13% injury predicting freedom from AF (odds ratio: 18.5, 95% confidence interval: 1.27 to 268, p = 0.032).


We define noninvasive MRI methods that allow for the detection and quantification of LA wall scarring after RF ablation in patients with AF. Moreover, there seems to be a correlation between the extent of LA wall injury and short-term procedural outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center