IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering
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A remote catheter navigation system compatible with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been developed to facilitate MRI-guided catheterization procedures. The interventionalist's conventional motions (axial motion and rotation) on an input catheter - acting as the master - are measured by a pair of optical encoders, and a custom embedded system relays the motions to a pair of ultrasonic motors. The ultrasonic motors drive the patient catheter (slave) within the MRI scanner, replicating the motion of the input catheter. The performance of the remote catheter navigation system was evaluated in terms of accuracy and delay of motion replication outside and within the bore of the magnet. While inside the scanner bore, motion accuracy was characterized during the acquisition of frequently used imaging sequences, including real-time gradient echo. The effect of the catheter navigation system on image signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was also evaluated. The results show that the master-slave system has a maximum time delay of 41 ± 21 ms in replicating motion; an absolute value error of 2 ± 2° was measured for radial catheter motion replication over 360° and 1.0 ± 0.8 mm in axial catheter motion replication over 100 mm of travel. The worst-case SNR drop was observed to be 2.5%.