Medical image analysis on left atrial LGE MRI for atrial fibrillation studies: A review

Lei Li, Veronika A. Zimmer, Julia A. Schnabel, Xiahai Zhuang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Late gadolinium enhancement magnetic resonance imaging (LGE MRI) is commonly used to visualize and quantify left atrial (LA) scars. The position and extent of LA scars provide important information on the pathophysiology and progression of atrial fibrillation (AF). Hence, LA LGE MRI computing and analysis are essential for computer-assisted diagnosis and treatment stratification of AF patients. Since manual delineations can be time-consuming and subject to intra- and inter-expert variability, automating this computing is highly desired, which nevertheless is still challenging and under-researched. This paper aims to provide a systematic review on computing methods for LA cavity, wall, scar, and ablation gap segmentation and quantification from LGE MRI, and the related literature for AF studies. Specifically, we first summarize AF-related imaging techniques, particularly LGE MRI. Then, we review the methodologies of the four computing tasks in detail and summarize the validation strategies applied in each task as well as state-of-the-art results on public datasets. Finally, the possible future developments are outlined, with a brief survey on the potential clinical applications of the aforementioned methods. The review indicates that the research into this topic is still in the early stages. Although several methods have been proposed, especially for the LA cavity segmentation, there is still a large scope for further algorithmic developments due to performance issues related to the high variability of enhancement appearance and differences in image acquisition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102360
JournalMedical Image Analysis
Early online date29 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Left atrium
  • Review


Dive into the research topics of 'Medical image analysis on left atrial LGE MRI for atrial fibrillation studies: A review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this