Prospective evaluation of left atrial function and late gadolinium enhancement with 3 T MRI in patients with atrial fibrillation before and after catheter ablation

  • Adrian CurtaEmail author
  • Stephanie Fichtner
  • Reza Wakili
  • Heidi Estner
  • Harald Kramer
Original Paper


In a prospective, randomized study we performed left atrial (LA) functional imaging and late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) in patients undergoing pulmonary vein isolation with ablation of the anterior mitral line to evaluate LA function and visibility of the anterior mitral line and to explore the relationship of these factors to short- and long-term procedural success. Functional imaging of the LA and LGE-visualization 15 min post i.v. administration of gadobutrol was performed on a 3 T MRI system before and after ablation. Patients were grouped in (a) subjects with sinus rhythm, and (b) subjects without sinus rhythm at the follow-up-MRI. Eight patients were excluded due to poor image quality. 37 patients were allotted to group a, 4 patients to group b. Group a showed a significant improvement in ejection fraction (22.3 ± 7.1% vs. 27.2 ± 5.5%; p < 0.001), end-systolic volume (111.6 ± 48.3 ml vs. 96.9 ± 37.2 ml; p = 0.002), stroke volume (30.2 ± 12.6 ml vs. 35.6 ± 12.6 ml; p = 0.003) and LGE (12.5% vs. 83.7%; p < 0.001). Group b showed no significant changes in functional parameters or LGE. Patients with successful therapy at 12 months showed significantly lower volumes in the baseline MRI. Scarring along the ablation pathways could be visualized with LGE. Patients with successful CA showed a significant improvement in LA cardiac parameters. Pre-ablation atrial volume seems to be a predictor for long-term success.


Cardiac MRI Atrial function Catheter ablation Scarring Anterior mitral line Gadolinium late enhancement Atrial fibrillation 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Heidi Estner receives an investigator-initiated grant by Biosense Webster, holds honorary lectures for Boehringer Ingelheim Boston and is an advisory for Boston Scientific. The other authors declare that they have no potential conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiology, University HospitalLMU MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik I, University HospitalLMU MunichMunichGermany
  3. 3.Clinic for Cardiology and AngiologyUniversity Hospital EssenEssenGermany

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