Real-time magnetic resonance imagingguided radiofrequency atrial ablation and visualization of lesion formation at 3 Tesla

Gaston R. Vergara, Sathya Vijayakumar, Eugene G. Kholmovski, Joshua J.E. Blauer, Mike A. Guttman, Christopher Gloschat, Gene Payne, Kamal Vij, Nazem W. Akoum, Marcos Daccarett, Christopher J. McGann, Rob S. MacLeod, Nassir F. Marrouche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allows visualization of location and extent of radiofrequency (RF) ablation lesion, myocardial scar formation, and real-time (RT) assessment of lesion formation. In this study, we report a novel 3-Tesla RT -RI based porcine RF ablation model and visualization of lesion formation in the atrium during RF energy delivery. Objective The purpose of this study was to develop a 3-Tesla RT MRI-based catheter ablation and lesion visualization system. Methods RF energy was delivered to six pigs under RT MRI guidance. A novel MRI-compatible mapping and ablation catheter was used. Under RT MRI, this catheter was safely guided and positioned within either the left or right atrium. Unipolar and bipolar electrograms were recorded. The catheter tiptissue interface was visualized with a T1-weighted gradient echo sequence. RF energy was then delivered in a power-controlled fashion. Myocardial changes and lesion formation were visualized with a T2-weighted (T2W) half Fourier acquisition with single-shot turbo spin echo (HASTE) sequence during ablation. Results RT visualization of lesion formation was achieved in 30% of the ablations performed. In the other cases, either the lesion was formed outside the imaged region (25%) or the lesion was not created (45%) presumably due to poor tissuecatheter tip contact. The presence of lesions was confirmed by late gadolinium enhancement MRI and macroscopic tissue examination. Conclusion MRI-compatible catheters can be navigated and RF energy safely delivered under 3-Tesla RT MRI guidance. Recording electrograms during RT imaging also is feasible. RT visualization of lesion as it forms during RF energy delivery is possible and was demonstrated using T2W HASTE imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-303
Number of pages9
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Catheter ablation
  • Lesion visualization
  • Radiofrequency energy
  • Real-time magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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