Wireless MR tracking of interventional devices using phase-field dithering and projection reconstruction

Martin A. Rube (Lead / Corresponding author), Andrew B. Holbrook, Benjamin F. Cox, J. Graeme Houston, Andreas Melzer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)


    Device tracking is crucial for interventional MRI (iMRI) because conventional device materials do not contribute to the MR signal, may cause susceptibility artifacts and are generally invisible if moved out of the scan plane. A robust method for wireless tracking and dynamic guidance of interventional devices equipped with wirelessly connected resonant circuits (wRC) is presented.

    The proposed method uses weak spatially-selective excitation pulses with very low flip angle (0.3°), a Hadamard multiplexed tracking scheme and employs phase-field dithering to obtain the 3D position of a wRC. RF induced heating experiments (ASTM protocol) and balloon angioplasties of the iliac artery were conducted in a perfused vascular phantom and three Thiel soft-embalmed human cadavers.

    Device tip tracking was interleaved with various user-selectable fast pulse sequences receiving a geometry update from the tracking kernel in less than 30 ms. Integrating phase-field dithering significantly improved our tracking robustness for catheters with small diameters (4–6 French). The volume root mean square distance error was 2.81 mm (standard deviation: 1.31 mm). No significant RF induced heating (< 0.6 °C) was detected during heating experiments.

    This tip tracking approach provides flexible, fast and robust feedback loop, intuitive iMRI scanner interaction, does not constrain the physician and delivers very low specific absorption rates. Devices with wRC can be exchanged during a procedure without modifications to the iMRI setup or the pulse sequence. A drawback of our current implementation is that position information is available for a single tracking coil only. This was satisfactory for balloon angioplasties of the iliac artery, but further studies are required for complex navigation and catheter shapes before animal trials and clinical application.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)693-701
    Number of pages9
    JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


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