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Left Atrial Anatomy in Patients Undergoing Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation


Background: Left atrial anatomy is highly variable, asymmetric, irregular and three-dimensionally unique. This variability can affect the outcome of atrial ablation. A catalog of anatomic varieties may aid patient selection and ablation approach and provide better tools for left atrial ablation.

Methods: We analyzed computed tomography scans from 514 patients undergoing left atrial ablation. Images were processed on Advantage Windows with CardEP™ software (GE Healthcare, Waukesha, WI). Measurements of pulmonary vein (PV) ostial size along the long and short axes were made using double oblique cuts, and area of the ostia was calculated.

Results: Patients with 2 left (LPV) and 2 right PVs (RPV) (62.6%), 2 LPVs and 3 RPVs (17.3%) and 1 LPV and 2 RPVs (14.2%) made up the three most common variants. In the 2-LPV/2-RPV anatomy, the ostial size and area of the RPVs were larger than their corresponding LPVs (p<0.001), and the ostial size and area of the superior PVs were larger than their corresponding inferior PVs (p<0.001). In the 2-LPV/3-RPV anatomy, the total area of the RPVs was larger than the total area of the LPVs (p<0.001). In the 1-LPV/2-RPV anatomy, the ostial size of the left common PV was larger than either right PV (p<0.007). However, the total area of the RPVs was larger than the area of the left common PV (p<0.002). The left common PV was also larger than any of the left veins in any of the other anatomies. The total PV area between the three most common anatomies was not significantly different.

Conclusions: More than 37% of patients have a left atrial anatomy other than 2 left and 2 right PVs. This data may help in designing approaches for left atrial ablation, tailoring the procedure to individual patients and improving ablation tools.

Credits: David Krum, MS; John Hare, BS; Carol Gilbert, RN; Indrajit Choudhuri, MD; Naoyo Mori, PhD; Jasbir Sra, MD



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Introduction to AFib
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