Anatomy for Atrial Fibrillation. Ablation procedures for atrial fibrillation (AF) have become an established and increasingly used option for managing patients with symptomatic arrhythmia. The anatomic structures relevant to the pathogenesis of AF and ablation procedures are varied and include the pulmonary veins (PVs), other thoracic veins, the left atrial myocardium, and autonomic ganglia. Exact regional anatomic knowledge of these structures is essential to allow correlation with fluoroscopy and electrograms, and, importantly, to avoid complications from damage of adjacent structures within the chest. We have presented this information in a 2-part series. In the present article, we examine the general anatomic characteristics of the PVs, superior vena cava, and vein of Marshall. Features of particular relevance for the invasive electrophysiologist are pointed out. In a subsequent article, we discuss the regional anatomy of the left and right atria and anatomic considerations in preventing complications during AF ablation.
- Atrial fibrillation
- Pulmonary veins
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)