Welcome to the DECAAF study homepage!

Thanks for your interest in DECAAF. If you are a DECAAF participant, please visit our getting started section on your first visit to the site. Once you've read the documentation, feel free to sign in to begin submitting patients for the study.

If you are a patient or medical center interested in participating, please visit the for patients or for medical centers sections.

Thanks again for your interest in DECAAF!

About the DECAAF study

Delayed/late gadolinium enhancement (DE/LGE) MRI has made it possible to visualize the left atrial fibrosis and structural remodeling in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) before treatment. In addition, post-ablation DE-MRI effectively demonstrates the degree of LA tissue injury and has shown a significant direct relationship of the degree of enhancement and successful clinical outcomes. Despite reproducible, high success rates, recurrences after radiofrequency catheter ablation remain a common event. At least two major obstacles are responsible for the wide variation of outcomes related to the AF ablation procedure. First, the challenge lies within defining the appropriate candidate for an ablation procedure. The second ongoing challenge is the assessment of left atrial tissue as it responds to lesion formation and eventual scarring before and after catheter-based ablation procedures.


To evaluate in a blinded, multi-center prospective fashion:

  1. The use of DE-MRI to stage AF and predict outcomes prior to AF ablation procedure.
  2. DE-MRI based assessment of chronic atrial structural remodeling, lesion characteristics and correlation with clinical outcomes, and recurrences after ablation.
  3. Reproducibility in image acquisition, processing, and analysis of the infrastructure (learning curve).

Getting Started

If this is your first time visiting the site, please take a moment to review these items:

Verify your system configuration:

You may also find it helpful to download and optionally print these documents while you are enrolling patients:

If you have to gather the data for submission from several sources, it may be useful to first print out one of these forms, carry it around with you to collect the data, then sit down and enter it all into the online forms provided by this website.

Below are several short video tutorials showing how to use and enter data on the DECAAF site:

Additional tutorials and documentation are listed in the documentation and FAQ sections. Feel free to come back to this, the documentation, or FAQ pages while you're using the site for additional help and information.

System Requirements

Supported Configurations:

Operating Systems:

  • Windows 7 / Vista / XP SP3
  • Mac OS X 10.5+


  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 7+
  • Firefox 3.5+
  • Safari 4.0+


  • Java 1.5+ with configued browser plugin.

Additional Network/System Requirements:

  • The client system needs to be able to connect to ports 8095, 8096 on a remote server. The anonymization applet connects to those ports on our server to transfer anonymized image data for the study.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

I don't have a required piece of data with me, so I can't submit right now... do I have to start all over later?

No, pressing the "next" button on the forms saves any valid data entered. You can come back and resume entering data for that patient when you've found the missing information by going to the "View Enrolled Patients" page and clicking on "resume" for the patient you were previously working on.

However the data will only be saved temporarily and not officially submitted to the study until you click "submit", and you can only submit once you've filled in all required fields.

If you have difficulty finding a specific piece of data required by the forms for your patients, please contact the DECAAF Team.

Why can't I modify the Patient ID / Initial Patient Enrollment Date / Gender fields on the Subject page, after clicking Next?

These three fields are used to uniquely identify the patient. We would normally use something like the patient's name, date of birth, or complete patient ID, but data like those are considered Protected Health Information (PHI), and can't be submitted to this study. For DECAAF we've decided to instead use the three fields above to uniquely identify the patients.

Because we use those three fields to identify the patient record (and generate the Patient Reference ID), they can't be changed after the initial patient information is entered.

Those data are also used to locate previously enrolled patients to enter follow update study data (for example 3 month study data).

What if I've entered incorrect data for the Patient ID / Initial Patient Enrollment Date / Gender fields on the Subject page?

If any of those three data are incorrect before successfully submitting a patient to be enrolled, please remove that patient yourself (using the "View Enrolled Patients" page, and clicking the "X"/delete button), and create a new enrollment with the correct information.

This can be done all the way up until you officially submit the patient into the study, by clicking the "submit" button. Once the patient is submitted into the study those fields are difficult to change, so please double check your information before clicking submit.

What if I've entered incorrect data for a patient that I've already submitted?

Please double check all your information in every section before submitting a patient's information, because correcting study data after it's been submitted is difficult.

If after submission you realize you've made a mistake, please contact the DECAAF Team for assistance.

Why is the DICOM Applet not displaying?

The Applet takes a moment to load the first time, however if it doesn't load at all you may have to do some additional configuration to your system:

Please verify that your system meets the minimum system requirements. If the computer you are using doesn't at least meet those requirements, you will need to upgrade your software to meet those requirements or use a different computer.

To check if you system meets these requirements, click here. If your machine passes those tests, you should have no problem using the DECAAF website. If your machine doesn't pass those tests, please upgrade or install the necessary software to meet the configuration requirements.

The Applet is displaying an error message, what does it mean?

Here are various errors users have reported seeing and what they mean as well as some suggested solutions. Let us know if you see an error you don't understand and we will add it to the list below.

  • "ERROR, files could not be sent. Please contact the site administrators. Details: connection refused: connect"

    Users seeing this error reported it was because of local network restriction issues - they had to contact their IT person for help in allowing their machine to connect to our servers. If you are seeing this error as well, that may be the case for your network. To verify this you can try sending images from a computer with a less restrictive internet connection - such as a University network instead of a Hospital network. Because fixing this issue requires knowledge of your local network restrictions, you will probably need help from your IT staff.

    In order to send images to our servers your computer needs to be allowed to connect to ports 8095 and 8096 on remote hosts, and allow non-http traffic through those connections.

    For example, if your site uses a proxy to connect to the internet, you will need to allow traffic through ports 8095 and 8096. If your site uses a firewall, it will need to allow clients to connect to a remote host on ports 8095 and 8096.

  • "ERROR, files could not be sent. Please contact the site administrators. Details: FAILURE 110 Noncompliant DIMSE error: Storage would require forbi"

    This error is given when a user tries to upload the same set of images twice. Please let us know if you belive that you have recieved this error but haven't yet uploaded that specific set of images, and we can verify that we already have those specific images (most likely the case).

    Note: This error only happens if you try to upload the exact same images twice - not if you upload different images for the same patient, uploading different sets of images for the same patient is allowed.

For any additional help please contact the DECAAF Team at

Thanks for your interest and participation in DECAAF!

For Patients

Dear Patient,

We would like to thank you for your interest in the DECAAF Study. The purpose of this study is to establish, in a multi-center setting, the efficacy and feasibility of using Delayed-Enhancement Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DE-MRI) to stage and treat the disease of atrial fibrillation. Recently, we have published data in the journal, Circulation that explores the benefits and utility of DE-MRI in detecting abnormal atrial tissue before radiofrequency ablation and in predicting procedural outcome. We have also presented the staging concept at several national and international conferences with confident reviews regarding the potential clinical implications of DE-MRI.

Other institutions across the United States, Europe, and Australia have all demonstrated a strong interest in becoming major collaborators for the research currently being carried out by our global DECAAF clinics. The expanse of international interest will allow us to draw on a growing number of patients, helping us to further the research necessary to cure atrial fibrillation. Based on the progress we have made, we anticipate beginning actual patient enrollment July 2010.

As this is a research study, not all patients may be eligible to participate in the DECAAF study. However, if you are interested in having heart staging done, we would be happy to set up a cardiac MRI here at the University of Utah Hospital and consultation with Dr. Nassir Marrouche. During this appointment, we can discuss the stage of your disease and provide a recommendation for possible treatment. If you have already had an ablation, we can still set up a cardiac MRI to evaluate previous lesions placed by the ablative procedure while also taking the opportunity to discuss your possible treatment options.

If you have further questions about our Atrial Fibrillation Program, please contact Jessiciah Windfelder MSN, ACNP or Heather Margetts MA at 801-587-5888.

The DECAAF Study Team

For Medical Centers

If you are a hospital, or other site already participating in the DECAAF study, please visit the getting started section.

If you are a hospital, or other site interested in participating in this study, please send an email to for more information.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the study, protocol, or related issues, please send email to

For any technical problems with the website please send email to

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