Artificial intelligence in the autonomous navigation of endovascular interventions: a systematic review

Robertshaw H, Karstensen L, Jackson B, Sadati H, Rhode K, Ourselin S, Granados A, Booth TC (2023)

Publication Type: Journal article, Review article

Publication year: 2023


Book Volume: 17

Article Number: 1239374

DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2023.1239374


Background: Autonomous navigation of catheters and guidewires in endovascular interventional surgery can decrease operation times, improve decision-making during surgery, and reduce operator radiation exposure while increasing access to treatment. Objective: To determine from recent literature, through a systematic review, the impact, challenges, and opportunities artificial intelligence (AI) has for the autonomous navigation of catheters and guidewires for endovascular interventions. Methods: PubMed and IEEEXplore databases were searched to identify reports of AI applied to autonomous navigation methods in endovascular interventional surgery. Eligibility criteria included studies investigating the use of AI in enabling the autonomous navigation of catheters/guidewires in endovascular interventions. Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA), articles were assessed using Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2 (QUADAS-2). PROSPERO: CRD42023392259. Results: Four hundred and sixty-two studies fulfilled the search criteria, of which 14 studies were included for analysis. Reinforcement learning (RL) (9/14, 64%) and learning from expert demonstration (7/14, 50%) were used as data-driven models for autonomous navigation. These studies evaluated models on physical phantoms (10/14, 71%) and in-silico (4/14, 29%) models. Experiments within or around the blood vessels of the heart were reported by the majority of studies (10/14, 71%), while non-anatomical vessel platforms “idealized” for simple navigation were used in three studies (3/14, 21%), and the porcine liver venous system in one study. We observed that risk of bias and poor generalizability were present across studies. No procedures were performed on patients in any of the studies reviewed. Moreover, all studies were limited due to the lack of patient selection criteria, reference standards, and reproducibility, which resulted in a low level of evidence for clinical translation. Conclusion: Despite the potential benefits of AI applied to autonomous navigation of endovascular interventions, the field is in an experimental proof-of-concept stage, with a technology readiness level of 3. We highlight that reference standards with well-identified performance metrics are crucial to allow for comparisons of data-driven algorithms proposed in the years to come. Systematic review registration: identifier: CRD42023392259.

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Robertshaw, H., Karstensen, L., Jackson, B., Sadati, H., Rhode, K., Ourselin, S.,... Booth, T.C. (2023). Artificial intelligence in the autonomous navigation of endovascular interventions: a systematic review. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 17.


Robertshaw, Harry, et al. "Artificial intelligence in the autonomous navigation of endovascular interventions: a systematic review." Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 17 (2023).

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