Intracranial navigation by using low-field intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging: Preliminary experience

Andrew A. Kanner, Michael A. Vogelbaum, Marc R. Mayberg, Joseph P. Weisenberger, Gene H. Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Object. Intracranial navigation by using intraoperative magnetic resonance (iMR) imaging allows the surgeon to reassess anatomical relationships in near-real time during brain tumor surgery. The authors report their initial experience with a novel neuronavigation system coupled to a low-field iMR imaging system. Methods. Between October 2000 and December 2001, 70 neurosurgical procedures were performed using the mobile 0.12-tesla PoleStar N-10 iMR imaging system. The cases included 38 craniotomies, 15 brain biopsies, nine trans-sphenoidal approaches, and one drainage of a subdural hematoma. Tumor resection was performed using the awake method in seven of 38 cases. Of the craniotomies, image-confirmed complete or radical tumor resection was achieved in 28 cases, subtotal resection in eight cases, and open biopsies in two cases. Tumor resection was controlled with the use of image guidance until the final intraoperative images demonstrated that there was no residual tumor or that no critical brain tissue was at risk of compromise. In each stereotactic biopsy the location of the biopsy needle could be verified by intraoperative imaging and diagnostic tissue was obtained. Complications included a case of aseptic meningitis after a biopsy and one case of temporary intraoperative failure of the anesthesia machine. Awake craniotomies were performed successfully with no permanent neurological complications. Conclusions. Intraoperative MR image-based neuronavigation is feasible when using the Odin PoleStar N-10 system for tumor resections that require multiple other surgical adjuncts including awake procedures, cortical mapping, monitoring of somatosensory evoked potentials, or electrocorticography. Use of the system for brain biopsies offers the opportunity of immediate verification of the needle tip location. Standard neurosurgical drills, microscopes, and other equipment can be used safely in conjunction with this iMR imaging system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1115-1124
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain neoplasm
  • Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging
  • Neuronavigation
  • Stereotactic targeting


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