The left atrium (LA) plays an important role in the maintenance of hemodynamic and electrical stability of the heart. One of the conditions altering the atrial mechanical function is atrial fibrillation (AF), leading to an increased thromboembolic risk due to impaired mechanical function. Preserving the regions of the LA that contribute the greatest to atrial mechanical function during curative strategies for AF is important. The purpose of this study is to introduce a novel method of regional assessment of mechanical function of the LA. We used cardiac MRI to reconstruct the 3D geometry of the LA in nine control and nine patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF). Regional mechanical function of the LA in pre-defined segments of the atrium was calculated using regional ejection fraction and wall velocity. We found significantly greater mechanical function in anterior, septal and lateral segments as opposed to roof and posterior segments, as well as a significant decrease of mechanical function in the PAF group. We suggest that in order to minimize the impact of the AF treatment on global atrial mechanical function, damage related to therapeutic intervention, such as catheter ablation, in those areas should be minimized.