A Dedicated Tool for Presurgical Mapping of Brain Tumors and Mixed-Reality Navigation During Neurosurgery

J Digit Imaging. 2022 Jun;35(3):704-713. doi: 10.1007/s10278-022-00609-8. Epub 2022 Mar 1.


Brain tumor surgery requires a delicate tradeoff between complete removal of neoplastic tissue while minimizing loss of brain function. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) have emerged as valuable tools for non-invasive assessment of human brain function and are now used to determine brain regions that should be spared to prevent functional impairment after surgery. However, image analysis requires different software packages, mainly developed for research purposes and often difficult to use in a clinical setting, preventing large-scale diffusion of presurgical mapping. We developed a specialized software able to implement an automatic analysis of multimodal MRI presurgical mapping in a single application and to transfer the results to the neuronavigator. Moreover, the imaging results are integrated in a commercially available wearable device using an optimized mixed-reality approach, automatically anchoring 3-dimensional holograms obtained from MRI with the physical head of the patient. This will allow the surgeon to virtually explore deeper tissue layers highlighting critical brain structures that need to be preserved, while retaining the natural oculo-manual coordination. The enhanced ergonomics of this procedure will significantly improve accuracy and safety of the surgery, with large expected benefits for health care systems and related industrial investors.

Keywords: Brain tumors; MRI; Medical image; Mixed reality; Neurosugery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Brain Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Neurosurgery*