Real-time magnetic resonance imaging–guided transcatheter aortic valve replacement

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To demonstrate the feasibility of Real-time magnetic resonance imaging (rtMRI) guided transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) with an active guidewire and an MRI compatible valve delivery catheter system in a swine model.


The CoreValve system was minimally modified to be MRI-compatible by replacing the stainless steel components with fluoroplastic resin and high-density polyethylene components. Eight swine weighing 60-90 kg underwent rtMRI-guided TAVR with an active guidewire through a left subclavian approach.


Two imaging planes (long-axis view and short-axis view) were used simultaneously for real-time imaging during implantation. Successful deployment was performed without rapid ventricular pacing or cardiopulmonary bypass. Postdeployment images were acquired to evaluate the final valve position in addition to valvular and cardiac function.


Our results show that the CoreValve can be easily and effectively deployed through a left subclavian approach using rtMRI guidance, a minimally modified valve delivery catheter system, and an active guidewire. This method allows superior visualization before deployment, thereby allowing placement of the valve with pinpoint accuracy. rtMRI has the added benefit of the ability to perform immediate postprocedural functional assessment, while eliminating the morbidity associated with radiation exposure, rapid ventricular pacing, contrast media renal toxicity, and a more invasive procedure. Use of a commercially available device brings this rtMRI-guided approach closer to clinical reality.

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