News | January 29, 2007

Intraoperative MRI in Operation at Pediatric Hospital

January 30, 2007 - Cook Children's Medical Center will soon house the combined IMRIS Intraoperative MRI (iMRI) operating room/diagnostic room, enabling surgeons to view high-resolution patient scans during brain surgery leading to improved patient
outcomes.
"Cook Children's pediatric neuroscience department annually cares for
approximately 16,000 children, making the program one of the largest in the
Southwest," said David Donahue, M.D., director of Neurosurgery, Cook Children's Medical Center. "The addition of the iMRI demonstrates the institution's commitment to the care of neurological and neurosurgical disorders."
The iMRI will occupy a two-room suite allowing the 1.5 Tesla MRI magnet,
suspended from tracks in the ceiling, to glide in and out of the operating
room. The system provides surgeons with exquisite digital images of the brain
during surgery. Surgeons can employ computer-guided software to better
determine the location, size, and often complex shape of a brain tumor, as
well as a distinction between the tumor and healthy tissue.
When the magnet is not being used in surgery, it reportedly can move to the adjacent diagnostic imaging suite where neuroscientists can perform complex functional and anatomic imaging. This will be especially beneficial to Cook Children's epilepsy patients, extending the diagnostic power of the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit.
"The most common uses for the iMRI system at Cook Children's will involve
surgical treatment of epilepsy and resection of brain tumors," said Donahue.
"In the latter application, intraoperative images provided by the iMRI allow
surgeons to detect and remove residual tumors which may not be readily apparent, even to the experienced eye; surgery can continue until all the tumor has in fact been removed, avoiding another trip to the operating room."
The iMRI is scheduled to be operational in February and is part of a $9.7 million suite that will treat children with epilepsy, brain tumors, hydrocephalus and other neurological problems.

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