Current Radiology Reports

, 6:44 | Cite as

Advanced Imaging of the Left Atrium with Cardiac Magnetic Resonance: A Review of Current and Emerging Methods and Clinical Applications

  • Aaron Soufer
  • Dana C. Peters
  • Mariana L. Henry
  • Lauren A. BaldassarreEmail author
Cardiovascular Imaging (K Ordovas, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Cardiovascular Imaging


Purpose of Review

The thin wall of the left atrium (LA) is difficult to visualize. The high spatial and temporal resolution of cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) allows for the most accurate assessment of left atrial structure, function, and tissue characterization. This review will describe emerging methods used to image the LA with CMR, and will discuss associated clinical applications.

Recent Findings

LA function can now be described in a dynamic fashion with feature-tracking algorithms. Novel methods have been created to augment visualization of late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) in the LA, and left atrial fibrosis can be further quantified with T1 mapping algorithms. The advancement in how we image the LA with CMR has implications in atrial fibrillation (AF) and cardiomyopathic processes.


A nuanced understanding of left atrial pathology is emerging with the rapid advancement of CMR technology, which has implications in the risk stratification and treatment of several cardiovascular disease states.


Left atrium (LA) Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) Late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) Left atrial feature tracking Atrial fibrillation (AF) Cardiomyopathy (CM) 


Compliance with Ethical Guidelines

Conflict of interest

Aaron Soufer, Mariana L. Henry, and Lauren A. Baldassarre each declare no potential conflicts of interest. Dana C. Peters reports a grant from the NIH/NHLBI.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Recently published papers of particular interest have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aaron Soufer
    • 1
  • Dana C. Peters
    • 1
  • Mariana L. Henry
    • 1
  • Lauren A. Baldassarre
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.New HavenUSA

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