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J Cardiovasc Magn Reson. 2019 Jan 3;21(1):2. doi: 10.1186/s12968-018-0514-3.

Prognostic and functional implications of left atrial late gadolinium enhancement cardiovascular magnetic resonance.

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Department of Internal Medicine (Cardiology), Yale School of Medicine, 300 Cedar St, New Haven, CT, 06520, USA.
Centre for Cardiovascular Imaging, Institute of Cardiovascular Science, University College London, London, UK.
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.



Left atrial (LA) late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) on cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging is indicative of fibrosis, and has been correlated with reduced LA function, increased LA volume, and poor procedural outcomes in cohorts with atrial fibrillation (AF). However, the role of LGE as a prognostic biomarker for arrhythmia in cardiac disease has not been examined.


In this study, we assessed LA LGE using a 3D LGE CMR sequence to examine its relationships with new onset atrial arrhythmia, and LA and left ventricular (LV) mechanical function.


LA LGE images were acquired in 111 patients undergoing CMR imaging, including 66 patients with no prior history of an atrial arrhythmia. During the median follow-up of 2.7 years (interquartile range (IQR) 1.8-3.7 years), 15/66 (23%) of patients developed a new atrial arrhythmia. LA LGE ≥10% of LA myocardial volume was significantly associated with an increased rate of new-onset atrial arrhythmia, with a hazard ratio of 3.16 (95% CI 1.14-8.72), p = 0.026. There were significant relationships between LA LGE and both LA ejection fraction (r = - 0.39, p < 0.0005) and echocardiographic LV septal e' (r = - 0.24, p = 0.04) and septal E/e' (r = 0.31, p = 0.007).


Elevated LA LGE is associated with reduced LA function and reduced LV diastolic function. LA LGE is associated with new onset atrial arrhythmia during follow-up.


Atrial fibrillation; Cardiovascular magnetic resonance; Ejection fraction; Late gadolinium enhancement; Left atrium

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