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Volume 18 Supplement 1

19th Annual SCMR Scientific Sessions

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Post ablation timing to best visualize left-atrial Llesions: a feasibility study


Catheter-based atrial fibrillation (AF) therapy often uses cryo-balloon ablation of pulmonary vein (PV) ostia to achieve rhythm control. Prior studies suggest the ability of late gadolinium enhancement cardiac MRI (LGE-MRI) to visualize radiofrequency-induced scar. The optimal time after therapy to visualize cryo-ablation lesions is unknown. This study evaluates the relationship between the time of LGE-MRI acquisition after ablation and visualization of cryoballoon-induced scar.


Eleven consecutive patients (9 M, age 61 ± 6y) undergoing cryoablation for AF were prospectively enrolled. All patients had pre-procedural left atrial angiography with LGE-MRI (1.5T Signa HDx, General Electric, ) to define left atrial and pulmonary vein (PV) anatomy. All patients underwent repeat LGE-MRI between 7-28 days post-ablation. Images were visually assessed for scar (estimated as percent circumferential enhancement) detected in the PV antrum and placed in quartiles of definite LGE, likely LGE, unlikely LGE, and no LGE.


44 PVs were assessed both pre- and post-procedure, and all but 6 pre-procedural were characterizable. At < 14 days post-procedure, there was 31.8% definitely LGE circumferentially vs. 49.3% LGE > 20 days (p= 0.053); and a combined definite and likely LGE of 59.7% circumferential LGE vs 72.9% > 20 days (p = 0.002), despite achieving electrical PV isolation in all 44 patients.


This study demonstrates the feasibility of observing cryoablation induced PV scar on LGE-MRI by delaying imaging until 20 days post-ablation.

Figure 1
figure 1

Typical acquisition showing pre ablation (a) and 20 days post ablation (b) LGE.

Figure 2
figure 2

Quartiles of pulmonary vein circumferential LGE pre-, less than 14 days post-, and greater than 20 days post-ablation.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Saeed, I., Soltys, J.S., Gupta, S. et al. Post ablation timing to best visualize left-atrial Llesions: a feasibility study. J Cardiovasc Magn Reson 18 (Suppl 1), P203 (2016).

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