Background - The purpose of this study was to describe a system and method for creating, visualizing, and monitoring cardiac radiofrequency ablation (RFA) therapy during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Methods and Results - RFA was performed in the right ventricular apex of 6 healthy mongrel dogs with a custom 7F nonmagnetic ablation catheter (4-mm electrode) in a newly developed real-time interactive cardiac MRI system. Catheters were positioned to intracardiac targets by use of an MRI fluoroscopy sequence, and ablated tissue was imaged with T2-weighted fast spin-echo and contrast-enhanced T1-weighted gradient-echo sequences. Lesion size by MRI was determined and compared with measurements at gross and histopathological examination. Ablated areas of myocardium appeared as hyperintense regions directly adjacent to the catheter tip and could be detected 2 minutes after RF delivery. Lesions reached maximum size ≃5 minutes after ablation, whereas lesion signal intensity increased linearly with time but then reached a plateau at 12.2±2.1 minutes. Lesion size by MR correlated well with actual postmortem lesion size and histological necrosis area (55.4±7.2 versus 49.7±5.9 mm2, r=0.958, P<0.05). Conclusions - RFA can be performed in vivo in a new real-time interactive cardiac MRI system. The spatial and temporal extent of cardiac lesions can be visualized and monitored by T2- and T1-weighted imaging, and MRI lesion size agrees well with actual postmortem lesion size. MRI-guided RFA may be a useful approach to help facilitate anatomic lesion placement and to provide insight into the biophysical effects of new ablation techniques and technologies.
- Catheter ablation
- Magnetic resonance imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)