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Biopsy needle tips with markers: MR compatible needles for high-precision needle tip positioning


Müller-Bierl,  B
Department High-Field Magnetic Resonance, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Müller-Bierl, B., Martirosian P, Graf H, Boss A, König C, Pereira, P., & Schick, F. (2008). Biopsy needle tips with markers: MR compatible needles for high-precision needle tip positioning. Medical Physics, 35(6), 2273-2278. doi:10.1118/1.2919082.

Needle tip visualization is of high importance in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guided interventional procedures, for example for taking biopsies from suspicious lesions in the liver or kidney. The exact position of the needle tip is often obscured by image artifacts arising from the magnetic properties of the needle. The authors investigated two special biopsy needle tip designs using diamagnetic coatings. For common interventional MR sequences, the needle tip can be identified in the MR image by several equidistant dark spots arranged along a straight line. A dotted instead of a solid line allows for an improved control of the movement of the needle, not only if the needle is tilted toward the imaging plane, but also if the needle leaves an empty canal with signal extinction, which cannot be distinguished from the needle material itself. With the proposed design the position of the needle tip can be estimated with a precision of approximately 1 mm using conventional FLASH, FISP, and TSE sequences, as use d for interventional MR. Furthermore, the size of the biopsy probe can be estimated from the artifact. In using needles with a properly designed tip coating, taking biopsies under MR control is beginning to be greatly simplified. The approach to design artifacts using diamagnetic material in combination with paramagnetic material paves the way toward new instruments and implants, suitably tailored to the needs of the interventional radiologist.