Isolated mammalian hearts have been used to study cardiac physiology, pharmacology, and biomedical devices in order to separate myocardial characteristics from the milieu of the intact animal and to allow for increased control over experimental conditions. Considering these benefits and that MRI is the “gold” standard for measuring myocardial function, it was considered desirable to have a system which would allow simultaneous MR imaging of an isolated beating heart. Here we describe a unique portable system, which enables physiologic perfusion of an isolated heart during simultaneous MR imaging. A two unit system was designed to physiologically support a large mammalian isolated heart during MR imaging were a modified Krebs-Henseleit perfusate was used as a blood substitute. The first unit, which resides in an adjacent support room next to the scanner, contains all electronically powered equipment and components (with ferromagnetic materials) which cannot operate safely near the magnet, including (1) a thermal module and custom tube in tube heat exchanger warming the perfusate to ; (2) a carbogen tank (95% 5% ) and hollow fiber oxygenator; and (3) two centrifugal blood pumps which circulates and pressurizes the left and right atrial filling chambers. The second unit, which resides next to the magnet and is free of ferromagnetic materials, receives warmed, oxygenated perfusate from the first unit via PVC tubing. The isolated hearts were connected to the second unit via four cannulae sutured to the great vessels. A support system placed inside the scanner on the patient bed secured the hearts and cannulae in the correct anatomical position. To date, this system was tested in a 1.5 T Siemens scanner using swine hearts . The hearts were arrested with St. Thomas cardioplegia and removed via a medial sternotomy. After cannulation of the great vessels, reperfusion, and defibrillation, four-chamber and tagged short-axis cine loops were acquired using standard ECG gating. Tagged short-axis images obtained at the base, mid-ventricle, and apex were used to measure the following functional parameters for one heart: LV end-diastolic ml, LV end-systolic ml, LV stroke ml, LV ejection , and peak LV circumferential . The feasibility of MR imaging an isolated, four-chamber working large mammalian heart was demonstrated using a custom designed and built portable MRI compatible perfusion system. This system will be useful in studying in vitro cardiac function (including human hearts) and developing MRI safe biomedical devices and MRI guided therapies in a controlled setting.
Design of a Novel Perfusion System to Perform MR Imaging of an Isolated Beating Heart
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Eggen, M., Swingen, C., Matta, P., Bateman, M., Rolfes, C., Quill, J., Richardson, E., Howard, S., and Iaizzo, P. (July 9, 2009). "Design of a Novel Perfusion System to Perform MR Imaging of an Isolated Beating Heart." ASME. J. Med. Devices. June 2009; 3(2): 027536. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3147496
Download citation file: