A Percutaneous Catheter for In Vivo Hyperspectral Imaging of Cardiac Tissue: Challenges, Solutions and Future Directions

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology








Atrial fibrillation; Autofluorescence; Catheter ablation; Hyperspectral imaging


© 2020, Biomedical Engineering Society. Purpose: Multiple studies have shown that spectral analysis of tissue autofluorescence can be used as a live indicator for various pathophysiological states of cardiac tissue, including ischemia, ablation-induced damage, or scar formation. Yet today there are no percutaneous devices that can detect autofluorescence signals from inside a beating heart. Our aim was to develop a prototype catheter to demonstrate the feasibility of doing so. Methods and Results: Here we summarize technical solutions leading to the development of a percutaneous catheter capable of multispectral imaging of intracardiac surfaces. The process included several iterations of light sources, optical filtering, and image acquisition techniques. The developed system included a compliant balloon, 355 nm laser irradiance, a high-sensitivity CCD, bandpass filtering, and image acquisition synchronized with the cardiac cycle. It enabled us to capture autofluorescence images from multiple spectral bands within the visible range while illuminating the endocardial surface with ultraviolet light. Principal component analysis and other spectral unmixing post-processing algorithms were then used to reveal target tissue. Conclusion: Based on the success of our prototype system, we are confident that the development of ever more sensitive cameras, recent advances in tunable filters, fiber bundles, and other optical and computational components makes it possible to create percutaneous catheters capable of acquiring hyper or multispectral hypercubes, including those based on autofluorescence, in real-time. This opens the door for widespread use of this methodology for high-resolution intraoperative imaging of internal tissues and organs—including cardiovascular applications.

This document is currently not available here.