Augmented Reality System for Ultrasound Guidance of Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation
Innovations: Technology and Techniques in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery
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Copyright © 2016 by the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery. Objective: Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) relies on fluoroscopy and nephrotoxic contrast medium for valve deployment. We propose an alternative guidance system using augmented reality (AR) and transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) to guide TAVI deployment. The goals of this study were to determine how consistently the aortic valve annulus is defined from TEE using different aortic valve landmarks and to compare AR guidance with fluoroscopic guidance of TAVI deployment in an aortic root model. Methods: Magnetic tracking sensors were integrated into the TAVI catheter and TEE probe, allowing these tools to be displayed in an AR environment. Variability in identifying aortic valve commissures and cuspal nadirs was assessed using TEE aortic root images. To compare AR guidance of TAVI deployment with fluoroscopic guidance, a TAVI stent was deployed 10 times in the aortic root model using each of the two guidance systems. Results: Commissures and nadirs were both investigated as features for defining the valve annulus in the AR guidance system. The commissures were identified more consistently than the nadirs, with intraobserver variability of 2.2 and 3.8 mm, respectively, and interobserver variability of 3.3 and 4.7 mm, respectively. The precision of TAVI deployment using fluoroscopic guidance was 3.4 mm, whereas the precision of AR guidance was 2.9 mm, and its overall accuracy was 3.4 mm. This indicates that both have similar performance. Conclusions: Aortic valve commissures can be identified more reliably than cuspal nadirs from TEE. The AR guidance system achieved similar deployment accuracy to that of fluoroscopy while eliminating the use and consequences of nephrotoxic contrast and radiation.