Surgically placed radiopaque markers: Proof-of-concept of a novel technique to facilitate percutaneous interventions in neonates and infants

Hummel J, Kubicki R, Pingpoh C, Stiller B, Sigler M, Siepe M, Grohmann J.

Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2020 Apr 8. doi: 10.1002/ccd.28891. [Epub ahead of print]

PMID: 32267611

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Objectives: Aim of this study was to evaluate feasibility and benefit of self-designed, radiopaque markers as a novel technique in neonates and infants with shunt- or duct-dependent lesions.

Background: Surgically placed radiopaque markers have the potential to facilitate postoperative percutaneous interventions.

Methods: All consecutive children with surgically placed radiopaque markers involving systemic-to-pulmonary artery connections or arterial ducts in the context of hybrid palliation and subsequent cardiac catheterization between January 2013 and March 2019 were included in this analysis. Our primary endpoint was our concept’s feasibility, which we defined as a combination of surgical feasibility and the percutaneous intervention’s success. Secondary endpoint was the rate of complications resulting from the surgical procedure or during catheterization.

Results: Radiopaque markers that reveal the proximal entry of a surgical shunt or the arterial duct proved to be a feasible and beneficial approach in 25 postoperative catheterizations. The markers’ high accuracy enabled easy probing and proper stent positioning in 13 neonates with a median age and weight of 121 days (range 9-356) and 4.7 kg (1.6-9.4) at the intervention. No procedural complications or unanticipated events associated with the radiopaque marker occurred. The markers were never lost, never migrated, and caused no local obstructive lesion. Surgical removal was straightforward in all patients.

Conclusions: Radiopaque markers are a promising and refined technique to substantially facilitate target vessel access and enabling the accurate positioning of stents during postoperative percutaneous procedures.