Intravascular MR-monitored Balloon Angioplasty: An In Vivo Feasibility Study1

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To develop a new method for monitoring balloon angioplasty by using an intravascular magnetic resonance (MR) imaging technique.


Nine New Zealand White rabbits were used: seven for technique refinement, including surgery, device insertion, stenosis creation, and MR protocol development; and two for the final MR imaging of the balloon angioplasty. The in vivo experimental method involved insertion of a catheter antenna and a balloon catheter, via femoral arteriotomies bilaterally, into the target site of the upper abdominal aorta, where a stenosis was artificially created by binding a plastic cable tie. Then, the entire process of the dilation of the stenosis with balloon inflation was monitored under MR fluoroscopy.


Catheter insertions were successful, and a 5-mm-long stenosis of the aorta was produced in all nine rabbits. Eight complete balloon angioplasty procedures were satisfactorily monitored and recorded, showing clearly the stenosis of the aorta at the beginning of the procedure, the dilation of the stenosis during the balloon inflation, and the complete opening of the stenosis after balloon dilation.


Preliminary results of in vivo balloon angioplasty monitored with intravascular MR imaging are presented. MR fluoroscopy, based on the intravascular MR imaging technique, may represent a potential alternative to x-ray fluoroscopy for guiding interventional treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

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