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Neurosurgery. 2011 Jul;69(1):194-205; discussion 205-6. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31821d0e4c.

Use of movable high-field-strength intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging with awake craniotomies for resection of gliomas: preliminary experience.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.



Awake craniotomy with electrocortical mapping and intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) are established techniques for maximizing tumor resection and preserving function, but there has been little experience combining these methodologies.


To report our experience of combining awake craniotomy and iMRI with a 1.5-T movable iMRI for resection of gliomas in close proximity to eloquent cortex.


Twelve patients (9 male and 3 female patients; age, 32-60 years; mean, 41 years) undergoing awake craniotomy and iMRI for glioma resections were identified from a prospective database. Assessments were made of how these 2 modalities were integrated and what impact this strategy had on safety, surgical decision making, workflow, operative time, extent of tumor resection, and outcome.


Twelve craniotomies were safely performed in an operating room equipped with a movable 1.5-T iMRI. The extent of resection was limited because of proximity to eloquent areas in 5 cases: language areas in 3 patients and motor areas in 2 patients. Additional tumor was identified and resected after iMRI in 6 patients. Average operating room time was 7.9 hours (range, 5.9-9.7 hours). Compared with preoperative neurological function, immediate postoperative function was stable/improved in 7 and worse in 5; after 30 days, it was stable/improved in 11 and worse in 1.


Awake craniotomy and iMRI with a movable high-field-strength device can be performed safely to maximize resection of tumors near eloquent language areas.

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