In current clinical practice, interventional treatment of arterial diseases like arterial occlusion, stenosis and aneurysms is mainly guided by fluoroscopy. The replacement of fluoroscopy by real-time Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is advantageous for the procedure as it provides a better soft-tissue contrast and can provide additional information such as flow and perfusion. Furthermore, it eliminates the use of the radiation burden to patient and medical staff and reduces the use of contrast agents.

The drawback of MR guided interventions is the limited availability of MR compatible guidewires and catheters, since conventional equipment often contains ferromagnetic metals. Furthermore, additional adjustments to the vascular devices for making them visible in MR images is necessary. Also, the limited space in the MR scanner is hampering the interventional radiologist in performing the procedure.

A collaboration with different partners is established in the SPECTRE project, to solve the problems described above and fully utilize the advantages of MRI guidance. The goal is to develop a steerable robot-controlled multi-purpose catheter for MRI guided vascular interventions. Within this project, Soteria Medical will develop a pneumatically driven remotely controlled manipulator, Nano4Imaging will support in visualizing the vascular devices by using SuperParamagnetic Iron Oxide (SPIO) markers. Fraunhofer Mevis contributes to the project by delivering software to enable pre-interventional planning and per-interventional tracking of the guidewire.



Several studies will be conducted to evaluate the safety and feasibility of the developed product. Amongst others, SPIO marker visibility, remote-manipulator accuracy and MR image quality will be studied. Phantom, animal and patient studies are planned to test the feasibility. Also, a systematic review discussing the clinical impact of MR-guided vascular interventions will be performed.

Collaboration & Funding

The project is an international collaboration between the departments of vascular surgery and Radiology and Nuclear medicine from the Radboudumc, Fraunhofer Mevis (Germany), Soteria Medical (Netherlands) and Nano4Imaging (Germany) and is funded by Eurostars