Whole shaft visibility and mechanical performance for active MR catheters using copper-nitinol braided polymer tubes.
BACKGROUND: Catheter visualization and tracking remains a challenge in interventional MR.Active guidewires can be made conspicuous in "profile" along their whole shaft exploiting metallic core wire and hypotube components that are intrinsic to their mechanical performance. Polymer-based catheters, on the other hand, offer no conductive medium to carry radio frequency waves. We developed a new "active" catheter design for interventional MR with mechanical performance resembling braided X-ray devices. Our 75 cm long hybrid catheter shaft incorporates a wire lattice in a polymer matrix, and contains three distal loop coils in a flexible and torquable 7Fr device. We explored the impact of braid material designs on radiofrequency and mechanical performance. RESULTS: The incorporation of copper wire into in a superelastic nitinol braided loopless antenna allowed good visualization of the whole shaft (70 cm) in vitro and in vivo in swine during real-time MR with 1.5 T scanner. Additional distal tip coils enhanced tip visibility. Increasing the copper:nitinol ratio in braiding configurations improved flexibility at the expense of torquability. We found a 16-wire braid of 1:1 copper:nitinol to have the optimum balance of mechanical (trackability, flexibility, torquability) and antenna (signal attenuation) properties. With this configuration, the temperature increase remained less than 2 degrees C during real-time MR within 10 cm horizontal from the isocenter. The design was conspicuous in vitro and in vivo. CONCLUSION: We have engineered a new loopless antenna configuration that imparts interventional MR catheters with satisfactory mechanical and imaging characteristics. This compact loopless antenna design can be generalized to visualize the whole shaft of any general-purpose polymer catheter to perform safe interventional procedures.
Kocaturk, O; Saikus, CE; Guttman, MA; Faranesh, AZ; Ratnayaka, K; Ozturk, C; McVeigh, ER; Lederman, RJ
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