Intracardiac MR imaging (ICMRI) guiding-sheath with amplified expandable-tip imaging and MR-tracking for navigation and arrythmia ablation monitoring: Swine testing at 1.5 and 3T

Date Published:

2022 06


PURPOSE: Develop a deflectable intracardiac MR imaging (ICMRI) guiding-sheath to accelerate imaging during MR-guided electrophysiological (EP) interventions for radiofrequency (500 kHz) ablation (RFA) of arrythmia. Requirements include imaging at three to five times surface-coil SNR in cardiac chambers, vascular insertion, steerable-active-navigation into cardiac chambers, operation with ablation catheters, and safe levels of MR-induced heating. METHODS: ICMRI's 6 mm outer-diameter (OD) metallic-braided shaft had a 2.6 mm OD internal lumen for ablation-catheter insertion. Miniature-Baluns (MBaluns) on ICMRI's 1 m shaft reduced body-coil-induced heating. Distal section was a folded "star"-shaped imaging-coil mounted on an expandable frame, with an integrated miniature low-noise-amplifier overcoming cable losses. A handle-activated movable-shaft expanded imaging-coil to 35 mm OD for imaging within cardiac-chambers. Four MR-tracking micro-coils enabled navigation and motion-compensation, assuming a tetrahedron-shape when expanded. A second handle-lever enabled distal-tip deflection. ICMRI with a protruding deflectable EP catheter were used for MR-tracked navigation and RFA using a dedicated 3D-slicer user-interface. ICMRI was tested at 3T and 1.5T in swine to evaluate (a) heating, (b) cardiac-chamber access, (c) imaging field-of-view and SNR, and (d) intraprocedural RFA lesion monitoring. RESULTS: The 3T and 1.5T imaging SNR demonstrated >400% SNR boost over a 4 × 4 × 4 cm3 FOV in the heart, relative to body and spine arrays. ICMRI with MBaluns met ASTM/IEC heating limits during navigation. Tip-deflection allowed navigating ICMRI and EP catheter into atria and ventricles. Acute-lesion long-inversion-time-T1-weighted 3D-imaging (TWILITE) ablation-monitoring using ICMRI required 5:30 min, half the time needed with surface arrays alone. CONCLUSION: ICMRI assisted EP-catheter navigation to difficult targets and accelerated RFA monitoring.