Optimization of imaging before pulmonary vein isolation by radiofrequency ablation: breath-held ungated versus ECG/breath-gated MRA.
Journal - European radiology (Germany )
Isolation of the pulmonary veins has emerged as a new therapy for atrial fibrillation. Pre-procedural magnetic resonance (MR) imaging enhances safety and efficacy; moreover, it reduces radiation exposure of the patients and interventional team. The purpose of this study was to optimize the MR protocol with respect to image quality and acquisition time. In 31 patients (23-73 years), the anatomy of the pulmonary veins, left atrium and oesophagus was assessed on a 1.5-Tesla scanner with four different sequences: (1) ungated two-dimensional true fast imaging with steady precession (2D-TrueFISP), (2) ECG/breath-gated 3D-TrueFISP, (3) ungated breath-held contrast-enhanced three-dimensional turbo fast low-angle shot (CE-3D-tFLASH), and (4) ECG/breath-gated CE-3D-TrueFISP. Image quality was scored from 1 (structure not visible) to 5 (excellent visibility), and the acquisition time was monitored. The pulmonary veins and left atrium were best visualized with CE-3D-tFLASH (scores 4.50 +/- 0.52 and 4.59 +/- 0.43) and ECG/breath-gated CE-3D-TrueFISP (4.47 +/- 0.49 and 4.63 +/- 0.39). Conspicuity of the oesophagus was optimal with CE-3D-TrueFISP and 2D-TrueFISP (4.59 +/- 0.35 and 4.19 +/- 0.46) but poor with CE-3D-tFLASH (1.03 +/- 0.13) (p < 0.05). Acquisition times were shorter for 2D-TrueFISP (44 +/- 1 s) and CE-3D-tFLASH (345 +/- 113 s) compared with ECG/breath-gated 3D-TrueFISP (634 +/- 197 s) and ECG/breath-gated CE-3D-TrueFISP (636 +/- 230 s) (p < 0.05). In conclusion, an MR imaging protocol comprising CE-3D-tFLASH and 2D-TrueFISP allows assessment of the pulmonary veins, left atrium and oesophagus in less than 7 min and can be recommended for pre-procedural imaging before electric isolation of pulmonary veins.