Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging.

Walter A. Hall, Charles L. Truwit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Neurosurgeons have become reliant on image-guidance to perform safe and successful surgery both time-efficiently and cost-effectively. Neuronavigation typically involves either rigid (frame-based) or skull-mounted (frameless) stereotactic guidance derived from computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that is obtained days or immediately before the planned surgical procedure. These systems do not accommodate for brain shift that is unavoidable once the cranium is opened and cerebrospinal fluid is lost. Intraoperative MRI (ioMRI) systems ranging in strength from 0.12 to 3 Tesla (T) have been developed in part because they afford neurosurgeons the opportunity to accommodate for brain shift during surgery. Other distinct advantages of ioMRI include the excellent soft tissue discrimination, the ability to view the surgical site in three dimensions, and the ability to "see" tumor beyond the surface visualization of the surgeon's eye, either with or without a surgical microscope. The enhanced ability to view the tumor being biopsied or resected allows the surgeon to choose a safe surgical corridor that avoids critical structures, maximizes the extent of the tumor resection, and confirms that an intraoperative hemorrhage has not resulted from surgery. Although all ioMRI systems allow for basic T1- and T2-weighted imaging, only high-field (>1.5 T) MRI systems are capable of MR spectroscopy (MRS), MR angiography (MRA), MR venography (MRV), diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), and brain activation studies. By identifying vascular structures with MRA and MRV, it may be possible to prevent their inadvertent injury during surgery. Biopsying those areas of elevated phosphocholine on MRS may improve the diagnostic yield for brain biopsy. Mapping out eloquent brain function may influence the surgical path to a tumor being resected or biopsied. The optimal field strength for an ioMRI-guided surgical system and the best configuration for that system are as yet undecided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-129
Number of pages11
JournalActa neurochirurgica. Supplement
StatePublished - 2011


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