News | May 01, 2014

Evaluating Intra-operative MRI for Neurologic Applications

May 1, 2014 — ECRI Institute healthcare market researchers said manufacturers developed intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) technology to improve conventional image-guided neurosurgery techniques that rely on preoperative patient scans for guidance during the procedure. The majority of published research to date addresses the use of iMRI for resection of various tumors of the brain and skull base.

Recent clinical trials have reported mixed results for iMRI, and trial data involving low-field iMRI should be considered separately from trials evaluating high-field iMRI. Available data (Avula et al. 2013, Tanei et al. 2013) suggest that use of high-field iMRI may reduce the incidence of repeat surgeries by allowing neurosurgeons to remove more brain tumor tissue and to measure surgical margins more precisely during the initial neurosurgical procedure. However, current studies generally have not measured whether the reduction in repeat surgeries has been associated with lower mortality.

The potential health impact would likely be smaller for low-field iMRI. Recent studies of low-field iMRI systems suggest that it might be associated with longer operative times with no change in neurosurgical outcomes or increased tumor volume resection (Czyz et al. 2013, Soleman et al. 2013) and failure to detect serious procedural complications, such as hemorrhage (Soleman et al. 2013).

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