PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review of emerging approaches to left atrial imaging in atrial fibrillation is relevant because there has been considerable recent development in the noninvasive characterization of left atrial structure and function. Concurrently, the identification and treatment of atrial fibrillation and the prevention of thromboembolism are evolving. Thus, it is timely to summarize how the advances in these two areas might be synergistic in the treatment of atrial fibrillation. RECENT FINDINGS: This article will summarize recent developments in left atrial imaging that play a role in patients with atrial fibrillation, with particular emphasis on echocardiography, and with reference made to important advances in cardiac computed tomography and cardiac magnetic resonance. The evidence that these modalities can predict who will develop atrial fibrillation, who will achieve sustained sinus rhythm after cardioversion or catheter ablation, and who will have thromboembolic risk will be reviewed. SUMMARY: Although existing evidence is promising, the clinical role of cardiac imaging to predict atrial fibrillation occurrence, atrial fibrillation recurrence after treatment, and thromboembolism from atrial fibrillation remains to be confirmed in large-scale studies and clinical trials.
- atrial fibrillation