Feasibility of using patient-specific models and the “minimum cut” algorithm to predict optimal ablation targets for left atrial flutter

Sohail Zahid, Kaitlyn N. Whyte, Erica L. Schwarz, Robert C. Blake, Patrick M. Boyle, Jonathan Chrispin, Adityo Prakosa, Esra G. Ipek, Farhad Pashakhanloo, Henry R. Halperin, Hugh Calkins, Ronald D. Berger, Saman Nazarian, Natalia A. Trayanova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Left atrial flutter (LAFL) occurs in patients after atrial fibrillation ablation. Identification of optimal ablation targets to terminate LAFL remains challenging. Objective The purpose of this study was to use patient-specific models to simulate LAFL and predict optimal ablation targets using a novel approach based on flow network theory. Methods Late gadolinium-enhanced cardiac magnetic resonance scans from 10 patients with LAFL were used to construct atrial models incorporating fibrosis by investigators blinded to procedural findings. Rapid pacing was applied in silico to induce LAFL. In each LAFL, we represented reentrant wave propagation as an electric flow network and identified the “minimum cut” (MC), which was the smallest amount of tissue that separated the flow into 2 discontinuous components. In silico ablation was applied at MCs, and targets were compared to those that terminated LAFL during catheter ablation. Results Patient-specific atrial models were successfully generated from patient scans. LAFL was induced in 7 of 10 models. Ablation of MCs terminated LAFL in 4 models and produced new, slower LAFL morphologies in the other 3. For the latter cases, flow analysis was repeated to identify MCs of emergent LAFLs. Ablation of these MCs terminated emergent LAFLs. The MC-based ablation lesions in simulations were similar in length and location to ablation targets that terminated LAFL during catheter ablation for these 7 patients. Conclusion Personalized atrial simulations can predict ablation targets for LAFL. These simulations provide a powerful tool for planning ablation procedures and may reduce procedural times and complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1687-1698
Number of pages12
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Ablation target
  • Fibrosis
  • Left atrial flutter
  • Network theory
  • Patient-specific atrial model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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