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Eur Heart J. 2017 Jan 1;38(1):14-19. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehv514. Epub 2015 Sep 25.

Magnetic resonance imaging of atrial fibrosis: redefining atrial fibrillation to a syndrome.

Author information

1
Comprehensive Arrhythmia and Research Management (CARMA) Center, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, 30 North 1900 East, Room 4A100, Salt Lake City, UT 84132-2400, USA.
2
Comprehensive Arrhythmia and Research Management (CARMA) Center, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, 30 North 1900 East, Room 4A100, Salt Lake City, UT 84132-2400, USA nassir.marrouche@hsc.utah.edu.

Abstract

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia and its treatment continues to be a challenge. Recently, delayed enhancement (DE)-MRI was introduced in the diagnosis and treatment of AF by the assessment of atrial fibrosis, which is considered the hallmark of the arrhythmogenic substrate in AF. Atrial fibrosis was reported to be an independent predictor of arrhythmia recurrences. Post-ablation DE-MRI allows for assessment of the total scar burden, complete encirclement of pulmonary veins, and the assessment of residual fibrosis, which were all reported to be strong predictors of arrhythmia recurrences post-ablation. Current pathophysiological perspectives for AF are heavily based on the adagium AF begets AF. However, several recent observations, such as atrial fibrosis being present in non-AF patients, do introduce a new pathophysiological perspective for AF. Potentially, atrial fibrosis is a disease process that triggers the initiation and maintenance of the syndrome AF.

KEYWORDS:

Ablation; Atrial cardiomyopathy; Atrial fibrillation; Atrial fibrosis; DE-MRI; Delayed enhancement; Residual fibrosis; Stroke; Substrate

PMID:
26409008
DOI:
10.1093/eurheartj/ehv514
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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