Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance imaging-guided therapy for brain tumors

Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2002 Nov;12(4):665-83. doi: 10.1016/s1052-5149(02)00036-9.


Since their introduction into surgical practice in the mid 1990s, intraoperative MRI systems have evolved into essential, routinely used tools for the surgical treatment of brain tumors in many centers. Clear delineation of the lesion, "under-the-surface" vision, and the possibility of obtaining real-time feedback on the extent of resection and the position of residual tumor tissue (which may change during surgery due to "brain-shift") are the main strengths of this method. High-performance computing has further extended the capabilities of intraoperative MRI systems, opening the way for using multimodal information and 3D anatomical reconstructions, which can be updated in "near real time." MRI sensitivity to thermal changes has also opened the way for innovative, minimally invasive (LASER ablations) as well as noninvasive therapeutic approaches for brain tumors (focused ultrasound). Although we have not used intraoperative MRI in clinical applications sufficiently long to assess long-term outcomes, this method clearly enhances the ability of the neurosurgeon to navigate the surgical field with greater accuracy, to avoid critical anatomic structures with greater efficacy, and to reduce the overall invasiveness of the surgery itself.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Intraoperative Period
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*