27 Citations (Scopus)


Endovascular aortic repair (EVAR) is a minimal-invasive technique that prevents life-threatening rupture in patients with aortic pathologies by implantation of an endoluminal stent graft. During the endovascular procedure, device navigation is currently performed by fluoroscopy in combination with digital subtraction angiography. This study presents the current iterative process of biomedical engineering within the disruptive interdisciplinary project Nav EVAR, which includes advanced navigation, image techniques and augmented reality with the aim of reducing side effects (namely radiation exposure and contrast agent administration) and optimising visualisation during EVAR procedures. This article describes the current prototype developed in this project and the experiments conducted to evaluate it. The current approach of the Nav EVAR project is guiding EVAR interventions in real-time with an electromagnetic tracking system after attaching a sensor on the catheter tip and displaying this information on Microsoft HoloLens glasses. This augmented reality technology enables the visualisation of virtual objects superimposed on the real environment. These virtual objects include three-dimensional (3D) objects (namely 3D models of the skin and vascular structures) and two-dimensional (2D) objects [namely orthogonal views of computed tomography (CT) angiograms, 2D images of 3D vascular models, and 2D images of a new virtual angioscopy whose appearance of the vessel wall follows that shown in ex vivo and in vivo angioscopies]. Specific external markers were designed to be used as landmarks in the registration process to map the tracking data and radiological data into a common space. In addition, the use of real-time 3D ultrasound (US) is also under evaluation in the Nav EVAR project for guiding endovascular tools and updating navigation with intraoperative imaging. US volumes are streamed from the US system to HoloLens and visualised at a certain distance from the probe by tracking augmented reality markers. A human model torso that includes a 3D printed patient-specific aortic model was built to provide a realistic test environment for evaluation of technical components in the Nav EVAR project. The solutions presented in this study were tested by using an US training model and the aortic-aneurysm phantom. During the navigation of the catheter tip in the US training model, the 3D models of the phantom surface and vessels were visualised on HoloLens. In addition, a virtual angioscopy was also built from a CT scan of the aortic-aneurysm phantom. The external markers designed for this study were visible in the CT scan and the electromagnetically tracked pointer fitted in each marker hole. US volumes of the US training model were sent from the US system to HoloLens in order to display them, showing a latency of 259±86 ms (mean±standard deviation). The Nav EVAR project tackles the problem of radiation exposure and contrast agent administration during EVAR interventions by using a multidisciplinary approach to guide the endovascular tools. Its current state presents several limitations such as the rigid alignment between preoperative data and the simulated patient. Nevertheless, the techniques shown in this study in combination with fibre Bragg gratings and optical coherence tomography are a promising approach to overcome the problems of EVAR interventions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInnovative Surgical Sciences
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)167-177
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 01.09.2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Navigation and visualisation with HoloLens in endovascular aortic repair'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this