Automatically steering cardiac catheters in vivo with respiratory motion compensation

Paul M. Loschak*, Alperen Degirmenci, Cory M. Tschabrunn, Elad Anter, Robert D. Howe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A robotic system for automatically navigating ultrasound (US) imaging catheters can provide real-time intra-cardiac imaging for diagnosis and treatment while reducing the need for clinicians to perform manual catheter steering. Clinical deployment of such a system requires accurate navigation despite the presence of disturbances including cyclical physiological motions (e.g., respiration). In this work, we report results from in vivo trials of automatic target tracking using our system, which is the first to navigate cardiac catheters with respiratory motion compensation. The effects of respiratory disturbances on the US catheter are modeled and then applied to four-degree-of-freedom steering kinematics with predictive filtering. This enables the system to accurately steer the US catheter and aim the US imager at a target despite respiratory motion disturbance. In vivo animal respiratory motion compensation results demonstrate automatic US catheter steering to image a target ablation catheter with 1.05 mm and 1.33° mean absolute error. Robotic US catheter steering with motion compensation can improve cardiac catheterization techniques while reducing clinician effort and X-ray exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)586-597
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Robotics Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiac catheters
  • Medical robotics
  • motion compensation
  • surgical robotics


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