Carbon fibre and nitinol needles for MRI-guided interventions: First in vitro and in vivo application

Christoph Thomas, Hanne Wojtczyk, Hansjörg Rempp, Stephan Clasen, Marius Horger, Christoph Von Laßberg, Jan Fritz, Claus D. Claussen, Philippe L. Pereira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To assess the artefact properties of a MR-compatible carbon fibre needle with a nitinol mandrin in vitro and to report first clinical experiences. Materials and methods: In vitro, the carbon fibre/nitinol needle was imaged at different angles against the main magnetic field (1.5 T open bore magnet). A gradient echo MR fluoroscopy sequence (GRE: TR 9.3 ms, TE 3.12 ms, bandwidth 200 Hz/pixel, flip-angle 12°) and a fast turbo spin echo sequence (FSE: TR 412 ms, TE 9.7 ms, bandwidth 200 Hz/pixel, flip-angle 150°) were used. Artefact width, needle intensity contrast and needle tip location errors were assessed. In vivo, lumbar periradicular corticosteroid injections and one sclerotherapy were performed with carbon fibre needles (10 procedures) and with titanium alloy needles (2 procedures). The artefact sizes and contrasts were measured. Results: In vitro, artefact diameters of the carbon fibre needle ranged from 3.3 to 4.6 mm, contrasts from 0.11 to 0.52, with larger artefact contrasts and widths with the GRE sequence. Needle tip location errors of -2.1 to -2.8 mm were observed. Decreasing angles to the main field lead to smaller artefacts. In vivo, the carbon fibre/nitinol needle produced smaller artefacts (mean width FSE/GRE: 2.8 mm/4.6 mm) with lower contrast (0.30-0.42) than the titanium alloy needle (mean width FSE/GRE: 4.1 mm/7.5 mm, contrast 0.60-0.73). Conclusions: The carbon fibre/nitinol needle is useful for performing MR-guided interventions at 1.5 T, producing more subtle artefacts than a titanium alloy needle, but with an incomplete depiction and thus inaccurate localization of the needle tip.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-358
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011


  • Artefact
  • Carbon fibre
  • High field
  • Interventional MRI
  • Needle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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