Image-Guided Interventions: We've come a long way, but are we there?

IEEE Pulse. Nov-Dec 2016;7(6):46-50. doi: 10.1109/MPUL.2016.2606466.


While the term "image-guided surgery" has gained popularity fairly recently, the use of imaging for medical interventions dates as far back as the beginning of the 20th century. Dr. George H. Gray of Lynn, Massachusetts, reported in his 1908 article "X-rays in Surgical Work," published in volume 2 of the Journal of Therapeutics and Dietetics, that "the one great stride in the handling of difficult cases was the accurate diagnosis made possible by the use of the X-rays." His story points to the day when a seamstress presented to his office with a broken sewing needle embedded in her hand. Thanks to the use of the recently discovered X-rays by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, the father of diagnostic radiology, Gray was able not only to confirm that the needle was indeed embedded in her hand but also to locate its parts, saving "an hour's hunting as some had previously done and then often failed."

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Imaging* / history
  • Diagnostic Imaging* / trends
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted* / history
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted* / trends
  • User-Computer Interface