Imaging techniques in cardiac electrophysiology

Michael S. Panutich, Bradley P. Knight*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Modern cardiac electrophysiology procedures include catheter-based arrhythmia ablation and transvenous device implantation, which are highly dependent on accurate, real-time cardiac imaging. With the realization that anatomic structures are critical to successful electrophysiologic procedures, accurately defining a patient's cardiac anatomy has become more important. Fluoroscopy allows for 2D imaging of cardiac structures in real-time, and is used to guide catheter and lead placement, but does not allow for visualization of soft tissues. Intracardiac echocardiography allows for both direct visualization of anatomic structures within the heart and real-time imaging during catheter placement. Despite advances in intracardiac echocardiography catheters that allow for larger windows, the ability to accurately delineate anatomic structures depends on the patient's anatomy and operator experience. Neither of these techniques allows for electrical mapping of the heart; however, both anatomic and electrical intracardiac mapping can be achieved with advanced mapping systems. These systems allow for real-time catheter localization, help elucidate cardiac anatomy, evaluate electrical activation during arrhythmias and guide catheter placement for deliverance of radiofrequency current. More recently, 3D cardiac computed tomography has been used to accurately define intracardiac anatomy; however, catheter tracking and electrical mapping cannot be performed by computed tomography. Mapping systems are now being merged with computed tomography images to produce an accurate anatomic and electrical map of the heart to guide catheter ablations. The objective of this paper is to describe the current imaging and mapping techniques used in electrophysiologic procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-70
Number of pages12
JournalExpert review of cardiovascular therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Ablation
  • Arrhythmias
  • Computed tomography
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrophysiology
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Imaging
  • Infrared
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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