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The potential neurosurgical applications of IMRI include:
The virtual real-time feedback provided by the IMRI allows the neurosurgeon to precisely localize brain and spinal lesions at the time of surgery thus facilitating more accurate surgical exposure. In managing brain, skull base and spinal tumors, IMRI allows the neurosurgeon to check for residual tumor before leaving the operating suite. An IMRI-compatible endoscope can be used in addition to conventional surgical techniques to treat complex cystic lesions of the brain and spinal canal. Because blood clots are easily seen with MRI, intracranial hemorrhage can be evacuated more completely and with less injury to surrounding brain.
By demonstrating the movement of cerebrospinal fluid in the spaces surrounding the brain and spinal cord, IMRI provides useful intraoperative information regarding the adequacy of decompression of the Chiari malformations and syringomyelia. In some cases, the information provided by the IMRI may prevent more extensive surgical procedures.
Finally, IMRI allows the neurosurgeon to identify some intraoperative and immediate postoperative complications before the patient has suffered permanent brain or spinal cord injury.
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