Objective: To develop a clinically useful method that shows the corresponding planes of intraoperative two-dimensional ultrasonography and intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans determined with an optical neuronavigator from an intraoperative three-dimensional MRI scan data set, and to determine the qualitative and the quantitative spatial correspondence between the ultrasonography and MRI scans.
Methods: An ultrasound probe was interlinked with an ergonomic and MRI scan-compatible ultrasonography probe tracker to the optical neuronavigator used in a low-field intraoperative MRI scan environment for brain surgery. Spatial correspondence measurements were performed using a custom-made ultrasonography/MRI scan phantom. In this work, instruments to combine intraoperatively collected ultrasonography and MRI scan data with an optical localization method in a magnetic environment were developed. The ultrasonography transducer tracker played an important role. Furthermore, a phantom for ultrasonography and MRI scanning was produced. This is the first report, to our knowledge, regarding the possibility of combining the two most important intraoperative imaging modalities used in neurosurgery, ultrasonography and MRI scanning, to guide brain tumor surgery.
Results: The method was feasible and, as shown in an illustrative surgical case, has direct clinical impact on image-guided brain surgery. The spatial deviation between the ultrasonography and the MRI scans was, on average, 1.90 +/- 1.30 mm at depths of 0 to 120 mm from the ultrasonography probe.
Conclusion: The overall result of this work is a unique method to guide the neurosurgical operation with neuronavigated ultrasonography imaging in an intraoperative MRI scanning environment. The relevance of the method is emphasized in minimally invasive neurosurgery.