Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology
Transcatheter cardio-vascular interventions have the advantage of patient safety,reduced surgery time, and minimal trauma to the patient's body. Transcathetherinterventions, which are performed percutaneously, suffer from the lack of direct line-of-sight with the surgical tools and the patient anatomy. Therefore, such interventionalprocedures rely heavily on image guidance for navigating towards and deliveringtherapy at the target site. Vascular navigation via the inferior vena cava (IVC), from thegroin to the heart, is an imperative part of most transcatheter cardiovascularinterventions such as valve repair surgeries and ablation therapy. Traditionally, the IVCis navigated using fluoroscopic techniques such as angiography or CT venography.These X-ray based techniques can have detrimental effects on the patient as well asthe surgical team, causing increased radiation exposure, increased risk of cancer, fetaldefects, eye cataracts. The use of heavy lead apron has also been reported to causeback pain and spine issues thus leading to interventionalist’s disc disease. We proposethe use of a catheter-based ultrasound augmented with electromagnetic (EM) trackingtechnology to generate a vascular roadmap in real-time and perform navigation withoutharmful radiation. In this pilot study, we use intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) and tracking technology to reconstruct a vessel from a phantom in a 3D virtual space. Thispaper presents a pilot phantom study on ICE-based vessel reconstruction anddemonstrates how the proposed ultrasound-based navigation will appear in a virtualspace, by navigating a tracked guidewire within the vessels in the phantom without anyradiation-based imaging. The geometric accuracy is assessed using a CT scan of thephantom, with a Dice coefficient of 0.79. The average distance between the surface ofthe two models comes out to be 1.7 ± 1.12mm.