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Cardiology Research and Practice
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 179632, 8 pages
Clinical Study

Characterization of Pulmonary Vein Dimensions Using High-Definition 64-Slice Computed Tomography prior to Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation

1Department of Cardiology, Cardiovascular Center, University Hospital Zurich, Rämistrasse 100, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland
2Department of Radiology, Cardiac Imaging, University Hospital Zurich, Rämistrasse 100, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland
3Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology (ZIHP), University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland

Received 14 December 2013; Accepted 26 May 2014; Published 25 June 2014

Academic Editor: Jesús M. Almendral

Copyright © 2014 Catherine Gebhard et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography is commonly acquired before radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) for atrial fibrillation (AFib) to guide the procedure. We analyzed pulmonary vein (PV) ostial diameter and volumes on a high-definition 64-slice CT (HDCT) scanner in patients with AFib prior to RFCA. Methods and Results. This retrospective study included 50 patients (mean age 60.2 ± 11.4 years, 30 males) undergoing cardiac HDCT scanning before RFCA for drug refractory AFib and 50 age-, BMI-, and sex-matched controls with normal sinus rhythm undergoing HDCT. PV ostial diameter and volume were measured and calculated using a semiautomatic calliper tool. Total ostial PV volume was significantly increased in patients with AFib as compared to controls ( ). Similarly, total ostial PV diameter was significantly increased in AFib compared to controls ( ). In AFib, the largest PV volume and diameters were measured in right superior PV ( versus controls). The difference in PV volume between patients and controls was most pronounced in right superior PVs ( ). Right middle PVs were found more often in patients with AFib (16/50; 32%) than in normal subjects (7/50; 14%). Conclusion. Enlargement of PV ostial area and enlargement of volume are frequent findings in patients with drug refractory AFib. These parameters may add to the risk stratification for AFib recurrence following RFCA.