Advances in Real-Time MRI-Guided Electrophysiology

Curr Cardiovasc Imaging Rep. 2019 Feb;12(2):6. doi: 10.1007/s12410-019-9481-9. Epub 2019 Feb 12.


Purpose of review: Theoretical benefits of real-time MRI guidance over conventional electrophysiology include contemporaneous 3D substrate assessment and accurate intra-procedural guidance and evaluation of ablation lesions. We review the unique challenges inherent to MRI-guided electrophysiology and how to translate the potential benefits in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias.

Recent findings: Over the last 5 years, there has been substantial progress, initially in animal models and more recently in clinical studies, to establish methods and develop workflows within the MR environment that resemble those of conventional electrophysiology laboratories. Real-time MRI-guided systems have been used to perform electroanatomic mapping and ablation in patients with atrial flutter, and there is interest in developing the technology to tackle more complex arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia.

Summary: Mainstream adoption of real-time MRI-guided electrophysiology will require demonstration of clinical benefit and will be aided by increased availability of devices suitable for use in the MRI environment.

Keywords: Ablation; Atrial flutter; Electrophysiology; Magnetic resonance imaging; Real-time; Ventricular tachycardia.