"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."

Pierre Jaïs, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Bordeaux, France

"Dear Steve, I saw a patient this morning with your book [in hand] and highlights throughout. She loves it and finds it very useful to help her in dealing with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Wilber Su Cavanaugh Heart Center, Phoenix, AZ

"Your book [Beat Your A-Fib] is the quintessential most important guide not only for the individual experiencing atrial fibrillation and his family, but also for primary physicians, and cardiologists."

Jane-Alexandra Krehbiel, nurse, blogger and author "Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness"


"Steve Ryan's summaries of the Boston A-Fib Symposium are terrific. Steve has the ability to synthesize and communicate accurately in clear and simple terms the essence of complex subjects. This is an exceptional skill and a great service to patients with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Jeremy Ruskin of Mass. General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

"I love your [A-fib.com] website, Patti and Steve! An excellent resource for anybody seeking credible science on atrial fibrillation plus compelling real-life stories from others living with A-Fib. Congratulations…"

Carolyn Thomas, blogger and heart attack survivor; MyHeartSisters.org

"Steve, your website was so helpful. Thank you! After two ablations I am now A-fib free. You are a great help to a lot of people, keep up the good work."

Terry Traver, former A-Fib patient

"If you want to do some research on AF go to A-Fib.com by Steve Ryan, this site was a big help to me, and helped me be free of AF."

Roy Salmon Patient, A-Fib Free; pacemakerclub.com, Sept. 2013

 FAQs Understanding A-Fib: Fibrosis

FAQs Understanding Your A-Fib A-Fib.com13.  “How can I determine or measure how much fibrosis I have? I’ve had A-Fib for several years and have read that it may produce fibrosis and collagen deposits in the atrium. Can something non-invasive like a CT scan measure fibrosis?”

The more one stays in A-Fib, the more fibrosis and collagen are formed in the atrium [the remodeling effect]. Electrophysiologists (EP) can measure fibrosis by going inside the heart and mapping fibrosis with a voltage monitoring catheter. Recent research indicates that Fibrosis can be measured by an MRI.

Dr. Nassir Marrouche, University of Utah School Of Medicine, is pioneering the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure fibrotic heart tissue. MRI is better than fluoroscopy and CAT scans because it reveals damaged, fibrotic tissue due to atrial fibrillation. In addition to other factors, Dr. Marrouche considers the amount of fibrosis in the left atrium is key to ablation treatment success. (To learn more, see my report from the 2014 Boston AF Symposium: High Fibrosis at Greater Risk of Stroke and Precludes Catheter Ablation: Lessons Learned from the DECAAF Trial.)

Anyone in A-Fib might want to consider an MRI to measure their level of fibrosis.

To the best of my current knowledge, a Computerized tomography (CT scan) does not measure Fibrosis.

Thanks to Stewart Stafford for this question.

¤ Spragg, D., et al. Role of Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Atrial Fibrosis in Atrial Fibrillation Ablation. Arrhythmia & Electrophysiology Review 2013;2(2):124-7.
¤  Breakthrough: Use of MRI in Catheter Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation. StopAfib.org website. November 7, 2008 Last accessed March 29, 2014 URL: http://www.stopafib.org/newsitem.cfm/NEWSID/120

Back to FAQs: Understanding A-Fib

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