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IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control. 2011 Jul;58(7):1478-91. doi: 10.1109/TUFFC.2011.1967.

A 10-Fr ultrasound catheter with integrated micromotor for 4-D intracardiac echocardiography.

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General Electric Company, Global Research Ultrasound Laboratory, Niskayuna, NY, USA.


We developed prototype real-time 3-D intracardiac echocardiography catheters with integrated micromotors, allowing internal oscillation of a low-profile 64-element, 6.2-MHz phased-array transducer in the elevation direction. Components were designed to facilitate rotation of the array, including a low-torque flexible transducer interconnect and miniature fixtures for the transducer and micromotor. The catheter tip prototypes were integrated with two-way deflectable 10-Fr catheters and used in in vivo animal testing at multiple facilities. The 4-D ICE catheters were capable of imaging a 90° azimuth by up to 180° elevation field of view. Volume rates ranged from 1 vol/sec (180° elevation) to approximately 10 vol/sec (60° elevation). We successfully imaged electrophysiology catheters, atrial septal puncture procedures, and detailed cardiac anatomy. The elevation oscillation enabled 3-D visualization of devices and anatomy, providing new clinical information and perspective not possible with current 2-D imaging catheters.

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