Catheter Tracking with Phase Information


Currently invasive cardiovascular procedures rely on x-ray angiography to navigate a cardiac catheter to a location of interest. Interventional cardiology would benefit from using MR guidance by exploiting MRI’s excellent soft tissue contrast. For example, MRI is able to distinguish between infarcted and healthy myocardium to identify an appropriate location for stem cell delivery. MRI is also able to distinguish between plaque and vessel walls which would ease the traversing of total chronic occlusions. In order perform such procedures under MR guidance, it is necessary visualize a cardiac catheter and track it using MRI.


Researchers at the Sunnybrook and Women’s College Hospital Science Center have developed a technique for determining the position and orientation of a catheter tip using phase patterns in the MR signal around a small micro-coil. This invention enables a localization of catheter that is more robust and accurate than other available MR tracking systems.


Phase information has the potential to track a catheter more accurately than magnitude sensitivity information because phase information is more spatially varying than magnitude projections and clear position and orientation information over a circular area of at least 4 coil diameters is available. Since only a sample of the information is needed to position and orient the catheter, there exists the potential for an extremely redundant localization scheme using global correlations. There is also the potential for accurate localization using low-resolution scans. This makes the method extremely attractive for real-time applications.

Patent Status

A US patent application has been filed. Publication number US 2005-0245814-A1

Business Opportunity

Sunnybrook and The Innovations Group are seeking licensees with interests in specific applications of this novel system.

Type of Offer: Licensing

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