Visualization of catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation: Impact of devices and anatomy

Mark A. Benscoter, Paul A. Iaizzo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Endocardial access to the left atrium is commonly achieved to treat patients with atrial fibrillation, using different device delivery systems for cardiac ablation. But the large variation in human anatomy presses the limits of existing medical devices. In this unique study, we directly visualized the device-tissue interface in fresh reanimated human hearts using Visible Heart® methodologies. Our goal was to better understand any opportunities to improve therapeutic approaches. The visual images obtained in this study (also featured in this article) allow a more intimate grasp of the key steps required in various ablation procedures, as well as some limitations of current device designs. These images show the potential risks of conducting transseptal punctures and the difficulties of placing catheter tips in certain scenarios (e.g. , when creating circumferential lesions); they also demonstrate potential problems that could occur while attempting to place catheter tips on such anatomies like the mitral isthmus. In our analysis of these images, we focus on where enhancements are needed to refine device functionality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)754-764
Number of pages11
JournalWorld Journal of Cardiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cryogenic catheter ablation
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Transseptal puncture


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