Magnetic resonance image intensity ratio, a normalized measure to enable interpatient comparability of left atrial fibrosis

Irfan M. Khurram, Roy Beinart, Vadim Zipunnikov, Jane Dewire, Hirad Yarmohammadi, Takeshi Sasaki, David D. Spragg, Joseph E. Marine, Ronald D. Berger, Henry R. Halperin, Hugh Calkins, Stefan L. Zimmerman, Saman Nazarian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background The measurement of late gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (LGE-MRI) intensity in arbitrary units limits the objectivity of thresholds for focal scar detection and interpatient comparisons of scar burden. Objective To develop and validate a normalized measure, the image intensity ratio (IIR), for the assessment of left atrial (LA) scar on LGE-MRI. Methods Electrocardiogram-and respiratory-gated 1.5 Tesla LGE-MRI was performed in 75 patients (75% men; 62 ± 8 years) before atrial fibrillation ablation. The local IIR was defined as LA myocardial signal intensity for each of the 20 sectors on contiguous axial image planes divided by the mean LA blood pool image intensity. Intracardiac point-by-point sampled electroanatomic map points were coregistered with the corresponding image sectors. Results The average bipolar voltage for all 8153 electroanatomic map points was 0.9 ± 1.1 mV. In a mixed effects model accounting for within patient clustering, and adjusting for age, LA volume, mass, body mass index, sex, CHA2DS2-VASc score, atrial fibrillation type, history of previous ablations, and contrast delay time, each unit increase in local IIR was associated with 91.3% decrease in bipolar LA voltage (P <.001). Local IIR thresholds of >0.97 and >1.61 corresponded to bipolar voltage <0.5 and <0.1 mV, respectively. Conclusions Normalization of LGE-MRI intensity by the mean blood pool intensity results in a metric that is closely associated with intracardiac voltage as a surrogate of atrial fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Electroanatomic mapping
  • Late gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging
  • Scar


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