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Acta Neurochir (Wien). 1996;138(9):1103-7; discussion 1107-8.

Accuracy of an experimental stereotactic system for MRI-based gamma knife irradiation in the rat.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, Virginia Neurological Institute, Charlottesville, USA.


Stereotactic devices for experimental Gamma Knife irradiation and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have recently been developed for experimental studies using rats [6,7]. The present study examined the accuracy of these devices using the following two approaches. In the first approach, Gamma Knife irradiation was performed using the stereotactic device with targets based on a standard stereotactic atlas. Gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging was performed using the MRI stereotactic device. Animals were then sacrificed after Evans blue injection, and the rat brain was sliced using an attachment to the stereotactic device. The center coordinates of the gadolinium-enhanced area from the MRI and Evans blue-stained area from the tissue sections were obtained using a computer-assisted image analysis system. These coordinates were compared with the target coordinates planned from the stereotactic atlas. In the second approach, a thermoluminescence dosimeter was implanted in the rat brain. Stereotactic MRI was performed using the stereotactic MRI device, and the coordinates of the implant were obtained. Gamma Knife irradiation was then performed at this target using the stereotactic device. The absorbed dose was measured and compared with the planning dose. These experiments demonstrated a spatial error of 0.6 mm (standard error +/- 0.07) between Gamma Knife irradiation based on a comparison of the atlas coordinates and the lesion, and a spatial error of 1.0 mm (standard error +/- 0.13) based on a comparison of the stereotactic MR images and the lesion. Gamma Knife irradiation based on MR images using the stereotactic device demonstrated a maximum error of 10% in absorbed dose at the target center. Together, the stereotactic devices for Gamma Knife irradiation and magnetic resonance imaging provide useful tools for Gamma Knife research in an animal model.

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