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Keywords:

  • interventional MRA;
  • wireless active instrument visualization;
  • inductive coupling;
  • interventional device tracking;
  • catheter coils

Abstract

To conduct interventional procedures in MRI, reliable visualization of interventional devices such as catheters is necessary. For this purpose, the use of inductively-coupled radio frequency (ICRF) coils has been proposed. Without a wired connection, the signal around the ICRF coil is amplified, enabling catheters to be visualized. The wireless connection allows easy handling of catheters, in some pulse sequences, however, it might be difficult to differentiate the catheters from anatomical background information. In this work, a novel ICRF coil visualization method, which allows separation of the catheter and the anatomical information by using the reverse and forward polarization modes of a coil, is proposed. This method allows images of the anatomy and the catheter to be combined into a color-coded image. First, an ICRF coil with decoupling diodes was constructed; we call this a receive-coupled RF (RCRF) coil. The RF safety profile of the RCRF coil is shown to be better than the ICRF coil. Second, to demonstrate the feasibility of this method, a receive-only birdcage coil without a hybrid coupler was constructed and then connected to a scanner as a two-channel phased-array coil. MR signals acquired from two channels were added after phase adjustments to create the reverse and forward polarization mode images. The reverse polarization mode image contained signal only from the RCRF coil, but the forward polarization mode displayed both anatomical information and the RCRF coil. The performance of this novel tracking method was tested in phantom and animal experiments. Color-coded images demonstrate the feasibility of the method to track catheters using RCRF coils. Magn Reson Med 58:1224–1231, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.