BACKGROUND: Cardiac catheterization is a common procedure in patients with congenital heart disease (CHD). Although cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) represents a promising alternative approach to fluoroscopy guidance, simultaneous high contrast visualization of catheter, soft tissue and the blood pool remains challenging. In this study, a novel passive tracking technique is proposed for enhanced positive contrast visualization of gadolinium-filled balloon catheters using partial saturation (pSAT) magnetization preparation.
METHODS: The proposed pSAT sequence uses a single shot acquisition with balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) readout preceded by a partial saturation pre-pulse. This technique was initially evaluated in five healthy subjects. The pSAT sequence was compared to conventional bSSFP images acquired with (SAT) and without (Non-SAT) saturation pre-pulse. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the catheter balloon, blood and myocardium and the corresponding contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) are reported. Subjective assessment of image suitability for CMR-guidance and ideal pSAT angle was performed by three cardiologists. The feasibility of the pSAT sequence is demonstrated in two adult patients undergoing CMR-guided cardiac catheterization.
RESULTS: The proposed pSAT approach provided better catheter balloon/blood contrast and catheter balloon/myocardium contrast than conventional Non-SAT sequences. It also resulted in better blood and myocardium SNR than SAT sequences. When averaged over all volunteers, images acquired with a pSAT angle of 20° to 40° enabled simultaneous visualization of the catheter balloon and the cardiovascular anatomy (blood and myocardium) and were found suitable for CMR-guidance in >93% of cases. The pSAT sequence was successfully used in two patients undergoing CMR-guided diagnostic cardiac catheterization.
CONCLUSIONS: The proposed pSAT sequence offers real-time, simultaneous, enhanced contrast visualization of the catheter balloon, soft tissues and blood. This technique provides improved passive tracking capabilities during CMR-guided catheterization in patients.
- Cardiac catheterization
- Congenital heart disease
- Device tracking
- Interventional CMR