GB2173593A - Ultrasonic location of needles or catheters - Google Patents

Ultrasonic location of needles or catheters Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2173593A
GB2173593A GB08509414A GB8509414A GB2173593A GB 2173593 A GB2173593 A GB 2173593A GB 08509414 A GB08509414 A GB 08509414A GB 8509414 A GB8509414 A GB 8509414A GB 2173593 A GB2173593 A GB 2173593A
Authority
GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
needle
transducer
tip
apparatus
part
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB08509414A
Other versions
GB8509414D0 (en
Inventor
William Norman Mcdicken
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
University of Edinburgh
Original Assignee
University of Edinburgh
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by University of Edinburgh filed Critical University of Edinburgh
Priority to GB08509414A priority Critical patent/GB2173593A/en
Publication of GB8509414D0 publication Critical patent/GB8509414D0/en
Publication of GB2173593A publication Critical patent/GB2173593A/en
Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01NINVESTIGATING OR ANALYSING MATERIALS BY DETERMINING THEIR CHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
    • G01N29/00Investigating or analysing materials by the use of ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic waves; Visualisation of the interior of objects by transmitting ultrasonic or sonic waves through the object
    • G01N29/22Details, e.g. general constructional or apparatus details
    • G01N29/223Supports, positioning or alignment in fixed situation
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/34Trocars; Puncturing needles
    • A61B17/3403Needle locating or guiding means
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B8/00Diagnosis using ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic waves
    • A61B8/08Detecting organic movements or changes, e.g. tumours, cysts, swellings
    • A61B8/0833Detecting organic movements or changes, e.g. tumours, cysts, swellings involving detecting or locating foreign bodies or organic structures
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B8/00Diagnosis using ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic waves
    • A61B8/08Detecting organic movements or changes, e.g. tumours, cysts, swellings
    • A61B8/0833Detecting organic movements or changes, e.g. tumours, cysts, swellings involving detecting or locating foreign bodies or organic structures
    • A61B8/0841Detecting organic movements or changes, e.g. tumours, cysts, swellings involving detecting or locating foreign bodies or organic structures for locating instruments
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01NINVESTIGATING OR ANALYSING MATERIALS BY DETERMINING THEIR CHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
    • G01N29/00Investigating or analysing materials by the use of ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic waves; Visualisation of the interior of objects by transmitting ultrasonic or sonic waves through the object
    • G01N29/04Analysing solids
    • G01N29/06Visualisation of the interior, e.g. acoustic microscopy
    • G01N29/0609Display arrangements, e.g. colour displays
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/34Trocars; Puncturing needles
    • A61B17/3403Needle locating or guiding means
    • A61B2017/3413Needle locating or guiding means guided by ultrasound

Abstract

The location of a needle (1) in an ultrasonic scan image display (6) is facilitated by mounting a transducer (10) on the needle and using signals from the transducer (e.g. electrical signals via a electronic unit (11)) to modify the display (6) to accentuate the location of the needle (or its tip) thereon. <IMAGE>

Description

SPECIFICATION Ultrasonic location of needles or catheters This invention relates to a method of, and apparatus for, the improved location of a needle or catheter when introduced into the human body. For convenience in the following description reference will usually be made to a "needle" but it should be understood that unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, this definition is intended also to cover a catheter or other solid body it might be required to precisely locate in a tissue mass.

Needle biopsy techniques are widely used in medicine to obtain samples of tissue and liquid from sites within the body. Imaging techniques are often employed to locate the needle tip at the requisite site. In addition to removing a sample, the needle can be used to inject material to the site, e.g. X-ray contrast material or antibiotics.

Needles of small diameter, consistent with the function to be performed, are generally preferred since these cause least trauma to surrounding tissue. However, these are more susceptible to bending away from the preferred path towards the site of interest.

Ultrasonic techniques are being increasingly employed to facilitate the positioning of the needle in the body. These techniques have the attractions of being relatively inexpensive and real-time in operation, i.e. the needle can be observed as it is pushed through the tissue. In practice however, it is often difficult to see the needle on a display screen against the background of the surrounding tissues. This is because the echo from the needle (e.g. its tip) is not markedly-different from the echo from the surrounding tissues.

The difficulties experienced with needles are even more pronounced with catheters whose greater flexibility increases their tendency to wander with consequences for the ease of, and thus accuracy of, detection of the tip.

This invention seeks to overcome the aforementioned difficulties which in one embodiment uses the ultrasound from an imaging transducer to strike the needle and indicate when the imaging beam is striking the needle and in particular the tip.

An advantage of the invention is that it facilitates the accurate location of a needle tip by a method which interferes very little with present needle biopsy or insertion methods in terms of application or of needle types.

What constitutes the invention in its method aspect is set forth in the following claim 1. The method of the invention can be carried out in a number of different ways included among which may be mentioned using the needle with a transducer attached thereto, although not to the tip of the needle.

(a) as a detector of ultrasound pulses, (b) as an emitter of ultrasound pulses, and (c) as a transponder, i.e. detection of a sweep signal pulse followed quickly by the emission of a pulse from the needle back to the source of the sweep signal pulse.

A sonic pulse generated in a needle has useful characteristics and is independent of the echoes which form the basis for present methods of ultrasonic imaging. A needle captured pulse disappears quickly when the sweep signals miss the needle and has a sharp leading edge, produced when the beam of sweep signals strike the tip of the needle. Sound bouncing around in the body of a hollow needle produces a fairly long tail to the signal. This tail produces a characteristic pattern which helps identification of the tip.

What constitutes the invention in its method aspect is set out in the following claim 6. In one embodiment, apparatus for realising the method of the invention comprises a means for removably coupling a needle to an ultrasonic transducer, means for monitoring the detection of ultrasonic pulses by said needle-coupled transducer, means for displaying such pulses analogous to their pattern of detection, means for introducing a beam of ultrasound into the region in which the needle is, or is to be, located and means for relating the incident angle of such beam to the time of detection of pulses by the said needle-coupled transducer.

The invention will now be further described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawing, in which: Figure 1 shows a prior art method of locating a needle tip ultrasonically, and Figure 2 shows a schematic representation of one manner of displaying the tip of a needle according to the method of the invention.

The conventional approach to ultrasonicailyguided fine-needle biopsy is shown in Figure 1 in which a hollow biopsy needle 1 is physically linked to a scanner head 2 incorporating an ultrasonic transducer 3 swept backwards and forwards over an arc as shown by the curved arrows. A mass of body tissue 4 is shown into which the needle 1 is inserted and the tip 5 of which is to be precisely located. 6 is a conventional CRT display of the ultrasound image in which the needle echo is marked at 7.

This approach relies on the operator being able to see the needle image 7 on the display 6. Visualisation of the needle is fairly easy when the tip 5 is in fluid but it is difficult when the tip is in tissue.

The solution to this problem as proposed by the invention is illustrated in Figure 2. An ultrasonic transducer 10 is connected to the needle 1, (e.g. via the needle stylet or a catheter wire). It is convenient in practice to attach the transducer 10 to the stylet e.g. via an acoustical transformer cone. The tissue 4 and needle 1 are imaged in the usual way. With this arrangement however, the transducer 10 on the needle detects the ultrasound which bounces around inside the needle when the transmitted pulse from the scanner head 2 strikes it. Sound travels much more readily in metal than in tissue. The sonic pulse generated in the needle 1 has characteristics which make it a good signal to work with electronically. It disappears quickly when the beam from the head 2 misses the needle and it has a sharp leading edge, produced when the transmitted beam strikes the needle.Sound bouncing around in the needle produces a fairly long tail to the signal. When the transmitted pulse from the head 2 strikes the needle tip, the signal generated in the needle is strongest.

Since the times for the transmitted pulse to travel from the scanner head 2 to the needle tip 5 and from the needle tip 5 to the needle transducer 10 are known, the instant in time when the signal reaches the tip 5 can be determined and thus the location of the needle tip can be displayed accurately on 'ha ultrasonic image of the tissues on the display 6.

There are a number of ways in which this can be done to present the needle tip clearly, e.g. using a display of one colour to present echoes and a display of a different colour to represent the needle signals.

Initial tests have shown that a black and white display is acceptably good.

The needle signal can also be used to generate a marker spot S at the position of the needle tip in the image. It is worth noting that the needle signal is obtained completely separate from the echo signal using suitable electronic signal processing means and could thus be presented on a display free from any confusing background. An attraction of the approach is that it interferes very little with present needle biopsy methods either in terms of procedure or needle types.

Amplification and delay circuitry 11 is used to present the signal from the needle tip 5 superimposed at the correct point in the display 6.

In a preferred embodiment, the transducer 10 (e.g.

a piezoelectric crystai) would be attached to a core of the needle, the core being removed after the procedure of insertion into the correct position in the mass 4to allow appropriate use of the inserted needle.

However, it is also possible to bond or clamp the transducer 10 in an appropriate manner to the needle 1. In either case, it may be beneficial to use an acoustical transformer cone between the transducer 10 and the needle 1.

The needle with its attached transducer 10 may be made to operate in several ways e.g. (1) as a detector of ultrasound pulses; (2) as an emitter of ultrasound pulses (in which case the needle transducer 10 could also be used, if driven with sufficient power, to break up or destroy tissue at the needle tip during insertion); (3) as a transponder, i.e. detection of a pulse from the head 2 is followed quickly by the emission of a pulse from the needle 1 back to the scanner head 2.

Although specifically described with respect to needles or catheters, the invention could equally be applied to other mechanical devices invading the body which might be susceptible to similar analysis e.g. electrodes or the like.

It is not necessary for the frequency of operation of the needle transducer 10 to be matched to that of the imaging apparatus based on the transducer 3.

The needle 1 need not be closely linked to the scanner head 2, it can be completely free of it.

Claims (12)

1. A method of locating a part of a needle (as hereinbefore defined) in a required position in a mass of body tissue, comprises the steps of periodically sweeping the said mass with an ultrasonic sweep signal and generating therefrom an ultrasound image display of at least a part of said mass which includes the said position and the said part of the needle, and monitoring the movement of the said part of the needle towards the required position on said display, characterised in that an ultrasound transducer is acoustically coupled to the said part of the needle and in that signals therefrom are used to enhance the image of the said part of the needle in the image display.
2. A method as claimed in claim 1, in which the signals from the needle-coupled transducer are electrical signals fed to an electronic circuit and used later in the correct timed sequence relative to the sweep signal to electronically modify the brightness or colour of the display at the location of the said part of the needle.
3. A method as claimed in claim 1, in which the signals from the needle-coupled transducer are ultrasonic signals fed into the mass of tissue to directly affect the ultrasound image generated by the sweep signal.
4. A method as claimed in claim 3, in which generation of the ultrasonic signals from the needlecoupled transducer are triggered by receipt, at said part of the needle, of the ultrasonic sweep signal, generation being delayed by a suitable time interval to compensate for the transit time of acoustic signals in the needle.
5. A method of locating the tip of a needle or catheter in a mass of body tissue, substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to and as illustrated in the accompanying drawing.
6. Apparatus for use in determining the location of a tip of a needle, as hereinbefore specified, in a mass of body tissue swept periodically with pulses of ultrasonic vibrations from a sweep transducer, and means to display the output of the sweep transducer as an ultrasound image of said mass and the needle tip therein, characterised in that the apparatus also includes an ultrasonic transducer acoustically coupled to the needle and means to utilise signals from the needle-coupled transducer to accentuate the location of the tip in the display.
7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 6, in which said needle is hollow and said needle-coupled transducer is mounted on a core insertable into the hollow needle.
8. Apparatus as claimed in claim 6 or claim 7, in which the needle-coupled transducer is of piezoelectric or magnetostrictive type.
9. Apparatus as claimed in any of claims 6 to 8, in which an acoustical transformer cone is located between the needle-coupled transducer and the tip of the needle.
10. Apparatus as claimed in any of claims 6 to 9, in which the needle, or where provided a core thereof, is coated with a material which reflects or attenuates ultrasound.
11. Apparatus as claimed in any of claims 6 to 10, in which the needle is physically linked to a housing of the sweep transducer.
12. Apparatus for facilitating the location of a tip of a needle or catheter on an ultrasonic scan display image substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to, and as illustrated in the accompanying drawing.
GB08509414A 1985-04-12 1985-04-12 Ultrasonic location of needles or catheters Withdrawn GB2173593A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB08509414A GB2173593A (en) 1985-04-12 1985-04-12 Ultrasonic location of needles or catheters

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB08509414A GB2173593A (en) 1985-04-12 1985-04-12 Ultrasonic location of needles or catheters

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB8509414D0 GB8509414D0 (en) 1985-05-15
GB2173593A true GB2173593A (en) 1986-10-15

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Family Applications (1)

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GB08509414A Withdrawn GB2173593A (en) 1985-04-12 1985-04-12 Ultrasonic location of needles or catheters

Country Status (1)

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GB (1) GB2173593A (en)

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2233094A (en) * 1989-05-26 1991-01-02 Circulation Res Ltd Ultrasonic imaging using a catheter-mounted transducer
US5081993A (en) * 1987-11-11 1992-01-21 Circulation Research Limited Methods and apparatus for the examination and treatment of internal organs
EP0576543A1 (en) * 1991-03-22 1994-01-05 CATHETER TECHNOLOGY, Co. Ultrasonic position indicating apparatus and methods
WO1998031285A1 (en) * 1997-01-21 1998-07-23 William A. Cook Australia Pty. Ltd. Calibrated hollow probe for ultrasound imaging
GB2440960A (en) * 2006-08-15 2008-02-20 Imp Innovations Ltd Ultrasonic imaging of an elongate device penetrating an object under investigation

Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB1462147A (en) * 1973-11-27 1977-01-19 Akad Tekn Videnskaber Apparatus for pulse-echo ultrasonic exploration
EP0083973A1 (en) * 1982-01-07 1983-07-20 Technicare Corporation Ultrasound probe locator

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB1462147A (en) * 1973-11-27 1977-01-19 Akad Tekn Videnskaber Apparatus for pulse-echo ultrasonic exploration
EP0083973A1 (en) * 1982-01-07 1983-07-20 Technicare Corporation Ultrasound probe locator

Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5081993A (en) * 1987-11-11 1992-01-21 Circulation Research Limited Methods and apparatus for the examination and treatment of internal organs
GB2233094A (en) * 1989-05-26 1991-01-02 Circulation Res Ltd Ultrasonic imaging using a catheter-mounted transducer
GB2233094B (en) * 1989-05-26 1994-02-09 Circulation Res Ltd Methods and apparatus for the examination and treatment of internal organs
EP0576543A1 (en) * 1991-03-22 1994-01-05 CATHETER TECHNOLOGY, Co. Ultrasonic position indicating apparatus and methods
EP0576543A4 (en) * 1991-03-22 1997-08-06 Catheter Technology Corp Ultrasonic position indicating apparatus and methods
WO1998031285A1 (en) * 1997-01-21 1998-07-23 William A. Cook Australia Pty. Ltd. Calibrated hollow probe for ultrasound imaging
GB2440960A (en) * 2006-08-15 2008-02-20 Imp Innovations Ltd Ultrasonic imaging of an elongate device penetrating an object under investigation
WO2008020157A1 (en) * 2006-08-15 2008-02-21 Imperial Innovations Limited Ultrasonic imaging of an elongate device penetrating an object

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
GB8509414D0 (en) 1985-05-15

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WAP Application withdrawn, taken to be withdrawn or refused ** after publication under section 16(1)