Left atrial fat with cardiac MR
© Peters et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009
Published: 28 January 2009
It has been proposed that the ganglionated plexi (GP) residing in the fat pads surrounding the left atrium (LA) may be involved in the genesis of atrial fibrillation (AF) . Appropriate ablation of these targets may be a treatment of AF . The gross anatomy of the GPs embedded in peri-atrial fat has been described and classified into five regions : the superior right atrial GP, the superior left atrial GP, the posterior right atrial GP, the posteromedial left atrial GP, and posterolateral left atrial GP. Cardiac MR (CMR) is unique among non-invasive imaging modalities, providing excellent depiction of fat, and can contribute by identifying these fat pads.
Discussion and conclusion
This preliminary CMR study shows the ubiquity of fat around the LA and adjacent to the PV ostia, concentrated in previously described locations. Other CMR methods for detecting fat – from simple 2D balanced SSFP slices to 3-point Dixon techniques may also be useful. The ability to detect regional fat distribution may contribute to planning for ablation in AF patients.
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