Towards real-time cardiovascular magnetic resonance guided transarterial CoreValve implantation : In vivo evaluation in swine
Background: Real-time cardiovascular magnetic resonance (rtCMR) is considered attractive for guiding TAVI. Owing to an unlimited scan plane orientation and an unsurpassed soft-tissue contrast with simultaneous device visualization, rtCMR is presumed to allow safe device navigation and to offer optimal orientation for precise axial positioning. We sought to evaluate the preclinical feasibility of rtCMR-guided transarterial aortic valve implatation (TAVI) using the nitinol-based Medtronic CoreValve bioprosthesis.
Methods: rtCMR-guided transfemoral (n = 2) and transsubclavian (n = 6) TAVI was performed in 8 swine using the original CoreValve prosthesis and a modified, CMR-compatible delivery catheter without ferromagnetic components.
Results: rtCMR using TrueFISP sequences provided reliable imaging guidance during TAVI, which was successful in 6 swine. One transfemoral attempt failed due to unsuccessful aortic arch passage and one pericardial tamponade with subsequent death occurred as a result of ventricular perforation by the device tip due to an operating error, this complication being detected without delay by rtCMR. rtCMR allowed for a detailed, simultaneous visualization of the delivery system with the mounted stent-valve and the surrounding anatomy, resulting in improved visualization during navigation through the vasculature, passage of the aortic valve, and during placement and deployment of the stent-valve. Post-interventional success could be confirmed using ECG-triggered time-resolved cine-TrueFISP and flow-sensitive phase-contrast sequences. Intended valve position was confirmed by ex-vivo histology.
Conclusions: Our study shows that rtCMR-guided TAVI using the commercial CoreValve prosthesis in conjunction with a modified delivery system is feasible in swine, allowing improved procedural guidance including immediate detection of complications and direct functional assessment with reduction of radiation and omission of contrast media.