To investigate the utility of MR and X-ray imaging for characterizing aortic coarctation and flow, and guiding the endovascular catheter to place a stent to repair the coarctation.Materials and Methods:
The descending aorta in eight dogs was looped with elastic band and tightened distal to the subclavian artery. Balanced fast field echo (bFFE) and velocity-encoded cine (VEC) MRI sequences were used for device tracking and measuring aortic flow. A T1-weighted fast-field echo sequence (T1-FFE) was used to visualize the coarctation and roadmap the aorta. Nitinol stents were guided by a nitinol guidewire and placed under MR guidance.Results:
Aortic coarctation was visible on MR and X-ray imaging. The procedure success rate was 88%. VEC MRI measured the changes in aortic flow (baseline = 1.3 ± 0.2, coarctation = 0.2 ± 0.02, and stent placement = 0.8 ± 0.1 liters/minute). A significant reduction in iliac blood pressure was measured after coarctation, but it was reversed by stent placement. The stent lumen was visible on X-ray fluoroscopy, but not on MRI.Conclusion:
Stent deployment to repair aortic coarctation is feasible under MR guidance. The combined use of MR and X-ray imaging is effective for anatomic and functional evaluation of aortic coarctation dilation, which may be crucial for optimal therapy.