Anatomic Stereotactic Catheter Ablation on Three-Dimensional Magnetic Resonance Images in Real Time

Timm Dickfeld, Hugh Calkins, Muz Zviman, Ritsushi Kato, Glenn Meininger, Lars Lickfett, Ron Berger, Henry Halperin, Stephen B. Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background - Targets for radiofrequency (RF) ablation of atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, and nonidiopathic ventricular tachycardia are increasingly being selected on the basis of anatomic considerations. Because fluoroscopy provides only limited information about the relationship between catheter positions and cardiac structures and is associated with radiation risk, other approaches to mapping may be beneficial. Methods and Results - An electromagnetic catheter positioning system was superimposed on 3D MR images using fiducial markers. This allowed the dynamic display of the catheter position on the true anatomy of previously acquired MR images in real time. In vitro accuracy and precision during catheter navigation were assessed in a phantom model and were 1.11±0.06 and 0.30±0.07 mm (mean±SEM), respectively. Left and right heart catheterization was performed in 7 swine without the use of fluoroscopy, yielding an in vivo accuracy and precision of 2.74±0.52 and 1.97±0.44 mm, respectively. To assess the reproducibility of RF ablation, RF lesions were created repeatedly at the identical anatomic site in the right atrium (n=8 swine). Average distance of the repeated right atrial ablations was 3.92±0.5 mm. Straight 3-point lines were created in the right and left ventricles to determine the ability to facilitate complex ablation procedures (n=6 swine). The ventricular lesions deviated 1.70±0.24 mm from a straight line, and the point distance differed by 2.25±0.63 mm from the pathological specimen. Conclusions - Real-time display of the catheter position on 3D MRI allows accurate and precise RF ablation guided by the true anatomy. This may facilitate anatomically based ablation procedures in, for instance, atrial fibrillation or nonidiopathic ventricular tachycardia and decrease radiation times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2407-2413
Number of pages7
Issue number19
StatePublished - Nov 11 2003


  • Arrhythmia
  • Catheter ablation
  • Electrophysiology
  • Imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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