MRI Flex Circuit Catheter Imaging Coil
There is a need for higher resolution imaging of heart tissue particularly for treating arrhythmias and atrial fibrillation using catheter ablation methods. While cardiac electrodes for measuring voltage potentials due to arrhythmias have been performed before using a flex circuit, the use of flex circuitry for an MRI receive coil (deployed within the heart) is a novel and unique way of imaging heart tissue.
The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory has developed a narrow, thin flexible piece of printed wiring board that can fit into an 8 French cardiac catheter that acts as a shielded coil useful for picking up magnetic lines of flux in a noisy electric field environment. The coil is deployed as a flat piece of flexible wiring through a catheter that can then be deployed as a small loop once inside the heart. The design optimally receives the time dependent magnetic induction field stimulated by the RF pulse sequences generated during an MRI procedure for subsequent image processing. The invention has a unique, low capacitance design which facilitates a thin, large area RF coil design able to produce high resolution MRI images at 63.4 MHz. Furthermore, the flex circuit design is inexpensive to manufacture and the distributed serial capacitance improves electrical performance.
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