The intraoperative MRI project is a collaboration between departments of radiology, neurosurgery, and NRU. The scanner (GE Signa 1.5T) was installed last year and is already in use for standard perioperative structural imaging with contrast, as well as during laser interstitial thermotherapy (LITT) surgery of tumors and epilepsy seizure sources. Our goal is to expand the usage to include intraoperative functional brain mapping (fMRI) to delineate eloquent areas, which is a desired in vivo tool for optimal resection of tumors.

In the pilot phase, we will focus on utilizing its newest blanket coil technology in the operative setup. This coil not only allows for flexible adaptions to patients in different positions while fixated in a surgical clamp, but also for better coverage of the whole head and for rapid sampling of fMRI data. We will initially perform test-retest studies in a phantom and in 10 healthy controls to validate the stability of fMRI acquisitions across different head positions and subjects. This will be paralleled by a few patient examples to verify functionality in a real clinical setting and to identify any caveats.