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U study shows MRI-based method holds promise for predicting treatment outcomes in patients with AF
Date:4/7/2009

ssistant professor of internal medicine in the University of Utah School of Medicine and director of the Atrial Fibrillation Program. "Our findings also present a disease progression model that supports the importance of early intervention."

In addition to its noninvasive nature, DE-MRI offers other advantages over commonly used invasive electroanatomic mapping studies to assess tissue health. For example, while other such diagnostic mapping studies have been associated with a high degree of spatial error, three-dimensional DE-MRI provides information on both the anatomy and the location of pathology without spatial distortion. Marrouche and his colleagues also have developed methods of processing the MRI images in order to visualize the entire volume of left atrium wall injury in 3-D.

"Until now, there has not been an accurate, non-invasive way to assess left atrium scar formation, which studies show is linked to AF disease severity," said Marrouche. "If substantiated, our DE-MRI visualization technique and analysis would provide guidance in determining appropriate candidates for AF catheter ablation as well as in identifying the heart muscle cells that need to be destroyed."

Last fall, the University of Utah Atrial Fibrillation program became the first in the world to be able to ablate using a catheter custom-made to be compatible with MRI. Next month, University Health Care will open a new multimillion dollar clinical and research lab, which will be the first in North America to provide real-time DE-MRI for treating patients with AF.


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Contact: Chantelle Turner
chantelle.turner@hsc.utah.edu
801-581-7387
University of Utah Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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