Atrial septal angulation varies widely in patients undergoing pulmonary vein isolation

Erin A. Fender, Christopher Sibley, Saman Nazarian, Alan Cheng, David D. Spragg, Joseph E. Marine, Ronald D. Berger, Hugh Calkins, Joao A.C. Lima, Jeffrey A. Brinker, Charles A. Henrikson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Transseptal puncture (TSP) allows left atrial access for curative procedures. Intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) provides direct visualization of the interatrial septum (IAS), but adds time and expense. We reviewed 100 cardiac multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) scans of patients undergoing AF ablation to determine if the angulation and orientation of the IAS are conserved or variable. Significant variability may suggest a potential role for direct visualization of the IAS during TSP. METHODS: We reviewed 100 MDCT scans obtained prior to AF ablation. The IAS plane at the fossa ovalis was identified in axial and coronal images. We measured the angle of the septum relative to an orthogonal plane. Optimal needle orientation was defined as perpendicular to the fossa ovalis. RESULTS: The mean axial plane angle was -60.6 ± 10.6° range, -29.5° to -88.7°). The mean coronal plane angle was 142.6 ± 9.1° range, 115° to 162°). The axial angle corresponded to variation in the "clock-face" orientation of the needle during puncture, and was calculated between 4 and 6 o'clock. Coronal plane angulation corresponds to the curvature of the needle tip, which varied by 47°. We found no association between patient characteristics and IAS angle. CONCLUSION: The septal orientation in the axial plane varied widely and was not predicted by clinical variables such as atrial size or prior valve surgery. The high degree of interpatient variability observed suggests that direct visualization of the septum may be helpful in the performance of TSP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-131
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Invasive Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • atrial fibrillation ablation
  • cardiac computed tomography
  • cardiac tamponade
  • interatrial septum
  • intracardiac echocardiography
  • transseptal puncture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Atrial septal angulation varies widely in patients undergoing pulmonary vein isolation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this