European Radiology

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 1954–1962 | Cite as

Magnetic resonance imaging guided transatrial electrophysiological studies in swine using active catheter tracking – experience with 14 cases

  • Matthias Grothoff
  • Matthias Gutberlet
  • Gerhard Hindricks
  • Christian Fleiter
  • Bernhard Schnackenburg
  • Steffen Weiss
  • Sascha Krueger
  • Christopher Piorkowski
  • Thomas Gaspar
  • Steve Wedan
  • Thomas Lloyd
  • Philipp Sommer
  • Sebastian Hilbert



To evaluate the feasibility of performing comprehensive Cardiac Magnetic resonance (CMR) guided electrophysiological (EP) interventions in a porcine model encompassing left atrial access.


After introduction of two femoral sheaths 14 swine (41 ± 3.6 kg) were transferred to a 1.5 T MR scanner. A three-dimensional whole-heart sequence was acquired followed by segmentation and the visualization of all heart chambers using an image-guidance platform. Two MR conditional catheters were inserted. The interventional protocol consisted of intubation of the coronary sinus, activation mapping, transseptal left atrial access (n = 4), generation of ablation lesions and eventually ablation of the atrioventricular (AV) node. For visualization of the catheter tip active tracking was used. Catheter positions were confirmed by passive real-time imaging.


Total procedure time was 169 ± 51 minutes. The protocol could be completed in 12 swine. Two swine died from AV-ablation induced ventricular fibrillation. Catheters could be visualized and navigated under active tracking almost exclusively. The position of the catheter tips as visualized by active tracking could reliably be confirmed with passive catheter imaging.


Comprehensive CMR-guided EP interventions including left atrial access are feasible in swine using active catheter tracking.

Key points

Comprehensive CMR-guided electrophysiological interventions including LA access were conducted in swine.

Active catheter-tracking allows efficient catheter navigation also in a transseptal approach.

More MR-conditional tools are needed to facilitate left atrial interventions in humans.


Magnetic resonance imaging, interventional Catheter ablation, radiofrequency Cardiac electrophysiology Atrial fibrillation Animal experiments 

Abbreviations and acronyms


Atrial fibrillation




Cardiac Magnetic Resonance


Coronary sinus


Digital amplifier stimulator


Surface electrocardiography


Intracardiac electrocardiography


Electrophysiology, electrophysiological


European Society of Cardiology


Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Association


Left atrium


Right atrium


Specific absorption rate


Steady state free precession



MR imaging conditional catheters were provided by Imricor Medical Systems (Burnsville, MN, USA). The Interventional MRI Suite (iSuite) research prototype was provided by Philips.

The scientific guarantor of this publication is Prof. Matthias Gutberlet – Head of department Radiology.

The authors of this manuscript declare relationships with the following companies:

Matthias Grothoff: Lecturing fees from Siemens and Bracco

Matthias Gutberlet: Lecturing fees from Siemens, Philips, Bayer and Bracco

Bernhard Schnackenburg is an employee of Philips GmbH, Hamburg, Germany.

Steffen Weiss and Sascha Krueger are employees of Philips GmbH Innovative Technologies, Hamburg, Germany.

Philipp Sommer: Lecturing fees and travel grants by St. Jude Medical, Biosense and Imricor. Advisory board member of St. Jude Medical.

Steve Wedan and Thomas Lloyd are employees of Imricor Medical Systems.

Christian Fleiter: nothing to declare

Sebastian Hilbert: nothing to declare

Gerhard Hindricks: research grants from St. Jude Medical and Boston Scientific

Thomas Gaspar: nothing to declare

Christopher Piorkowski: nothing to declare

This study has been supported by an Imricor grant to the University of Leipzig, Germany. Catheter materials for this study were provided by Imricor. The Interventional MRI Suite (iSuite) research prototype was provided by Philips.

No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper. Institutional Review Board approval was obtained. Approval from the institutional animal care committee was obtained.

Methodology: prospective, experimental, performed at one institution.


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthias Grothoff
    • 1
  • Matthias Gutberlet
    • 1
  • Gerhard Hindricks
    • 2
  • Christian Fleiter
    • 3
  • Bernhard Schnackenburg
    • 4
  • Steffen Weiss
    • 5
  • Sascha Krueger
    • 5
  • Christopher Piorkowski
    • 6
  • Thomas Gaspar
    • 6
  • Steve Wedan
    • 7
  • Thomas Lloyd
    • 7
  • Philipp Sommer
    • 2
  • Sebastian Hilbert
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyUniversity of Leipzig - Heart CenterLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Department of ElectrophysiologyUniversity of Leipzig - Heart CenterLeipzigGermany
  3. 3.Helios Klinikum Berlin-Buch, Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Philips HealthcareHamburgGermany
  5. 5.Philips Innovative TechnologiesHamburgGermany
  6. 6.Department of ElectrophysiologyUniversity of Dresden – Heart CenterDresdenGermany
  7. 7.Imricor Medical SystemsBurnsvilleUSA

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