Role of magnetic resonance imaging in atrial fibrillation ablation

Roy Beinart, Saman Nazarian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ablation therapy is widely used for treatment of drug-resistant atrial fibrillation (AF). Ablation success for AF, however, is relatively low, often requiring repeated procedures for long-term suppression of the arrhythmia. Utilization of imaging techniques that visualize cardiac anatomy, function, and tissue characteristics may improve ablation results. Compared to other imaging modalities, cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) has several advantages, including the lack of ionizing radiation and unsurpassed soft tissue resolution. Chamber morphology images can be registered onto electroanatomic maps acquired during the procedure, thus improving procedural safety and efficacy. In addition, the ability of CMR to characterize myocardial tissues may optimize patient selection for ablation and thromboembolic risk stratification. Post-procedure CMR can be used to detect potential complications, and with improved resolution, it has the potential to assess the integrity of ablation lesions. In this paper we will review the role of CMR in the pre-ablation diagnostic workup of AF patients as well as during and after catheter ablation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number316
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Ablation
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cardiac magnetic resonance
  • Late gadolinium enhancement
  • Left atrium
  • Pulmonary vein isolation
  • Pulmonary veins
  • T1 mapping


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