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Neurosurgery. 2008 Sep;63(3):412-24; discussion 424-6. doi: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000324897.59311.1C.

Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging at 3-T using a dual independent operating room-magnetic resonance imaging suite: development, feasibility, safety, and preliminary experience.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Cliniques Universitaires St-Luc, Universit√© Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.



A twin neurosurgical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) suite with 3-T intraoperative MRI (iMRI) was developed to be available to neurosurgeons for iMRI and for independent use by radiologists.


The suite was designed with one area dedicated to neurosurgery and the other to performing MRI under surgical conditions (sterility and anesthesia). The operating table is motorized, enabling transfer of the patient into the MRI system. These two areas can function independently, allowing the MRI area to be used for nonsurgical cases. We report the findings from the first 21 patients to undergo scheduled neurosurgery with iMRI in this suite (average age, 51 +/- 24 yr; intracranial tumor, 18 patients; epilepsy surgery, 3 patients).


Twenty-six iMRI examinations were performed, 3 immediately before surgical incision, 9 during surgery (operative field partially closed), and 14 immediately postsurgery (operative field fully closed but patient still anesthetized and draped). Minor technical dysfunctions prolonged 10 iMRI procedures; however, no serious iMRI-related incidents occurred. Twenty-three iMRI examinations took an average of 78 +/- 20 minutes to perform. In three patients, iMRI led to further tumor resection because removable residual tumor was identified. Complete tumor resection was achieved in 15 of the 18 cases.


The layout of the new complex allows open access to the 3-T iMRI system except when it is in use under surgical conditions. Three patients benefited from the iMRI examination to achieve total resection. No permanent complications were observed. Therefore, the 3-T iMRI is feasible and appears to be a safe tool for intraoperative surgical planning and assessment.

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