Targeted endomyocardial biopsy guided by real-time cardiovascular magnetic resonance.J Cardiovasc Magn Reson. 2017 Apr 19; 19(1):45.JC
Endomyocardial biopsies (EMB) are an important diagnostic tool for myocarditis and other infiltrative cardiac diseases. Routinely, biopsies are obtained under fluoroscopic guidance with a substantial radiation burden. Despite procedural success, there is a large sampling error caused by missing the affected myocardium. Therefore, multiple (>6) biopsies are taken in the clinical setting. In cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR), late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) depicts areas of affected myocardium in myocarditis or in other infiltrative cardiomyopathies. Thus, targeted biopsy under real-time CMR image guidance might reduce the problem of sampling error.
Seven minipigs of the Goettingen strain underwent radiofrequency ablation in the left ventricle. At least two focal lesions were induced on the lateral wall in five and the apex in two animals. Each ablation lesion was created by two consecutive 30 sec ablations (max. 30 W, temperature 60-64 °C). Biopsies were taken immediately after lesion induction using a commercially available 7 F conventional bioptome under fluoroscopic guidance at the ablation site. Afterwards the animals underwent CMR and lesion visualization by LGE at 3T. The lesions were then targeted and biopsied under CMR-guidance using a MR-conditional bioptome guided by a steerable catheter. Interactive real-time (RT) visualization of the intervention on an in-room monitor was based on radial FLASH with nonlinear inverse reconstruction (NLINV) at a temporal resolution of 42 ms. All samples underwent a standard histological evaluation.
Radiofrequency ablation was successful in all animals. Fluoroscopy-guided biopsies were performed with a success rate of 6/6 minipigs - resulting in a nonlethal pericardial effusion in one animal. Visualization of radiofrequency lesions by CMR was successful in 7/7 minipig, i.e. at least one lesion was clearly visible. Localization and tracking of the catheters and the bioptome using interactive control of the imaging plane was achieved in 6/6 MP; however in the animal with a large pericardial effusion after EMB under fluoroscopy no further EMB was attempted for safety reasons. Biopsies under interactive RT-CMR guidance were successfully performed in 5/6 animals, in one animal the bioptome reached the lesion, however the forceps did not cut out a sample. Specimens obtained under CMR guidance contained part of the lesion in 6/15 (40%) myocardial specimens and in 4/5 (80%) animals in which samples were achieved. Conventional biopsies revealed ablation lesions in 4/17 (23.5%) specimens in 3/6 minipigs (50%).
Focal lesions induced by radiofrequency ablation in a minipig model are a useful tool for CMR-guided biopsy studies. In contrast to fluoroscopy, CMR provides excellent visualization of lesions. Interactive real-time CMR allows excellent passive tracking of the instruments and EMB provides significantly superior sampling accuracy compared to fluoroscopy-guided biopsies. Nonetheless, further improvements of MR-compatible bioptomes and guiding catheters are essential before applying this method in a clinical setting.