Noninvasive neuroimaging aids in surgical planning and in counseling patients about possible risks of surgery. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) performs the most common types of surgical planning that the neurosurgeon faces, including localization of epileptic discharges, determination of the hemispheric dominance of verbal processing, and the ability to locate eloquent cortex. MEG is most useful when it is combined with structural imaging, most commonly with structural magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and MR diffusion imaging. This article reviews the history of clinical MEG, introduces the basic concepts about the biophysics of MEG, and outlines the basic neurosurgical applications of MEG.
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