What Interventional Magnetic Resonance Imaging is all about?

Interventional magnetic resonance imaging, also called Interventional MRI defines the intraoperative application of magnetic resonance imaging technology. This method is used for interventional radiology procedures.

The best advantage of MRI is that, harmful rays are not used that can have severe effects on the patient and the operator. Interventional radiology is a well suited technique used to guide a minimally-invasive procedure intraoperatively or interactively. However, specialized instruments are required for this procedure. The non-magnetic environment needed by the scanner and the strong magnetic radiofrequency and quasi-static fields generated by the scanner hardware demands specialized instruments. Often an "open bore" magnet is used to access patients during the operation.

Higher field magnet systems are being deployed in intraoperative imaging suites, which can combine high-field MRI with a surgical suite. Specialty high-field interventional MR devices, such as the IMRIS system, can actually bring a high-field magnet to the patient within the operating theatre, thereby permitting the use of standard surgical tools while the magnet is in an adjoining space.

Interventional magnetic resonance imaging is used for neurosurgical applications. Some of the neurological applications include brain tumors, Pituitary tumors, Spinal cord tumors, Complex skull base and spinal tumors, Cystic lesions of the brain, ventricles, and spinal canal, Intracranial hemorrhage and biopsy of small brain or spinal lesions.

Interventional magnetic resonance imaging provides virtual real-time feedback thereby allowing the neurosurgeon to precisely localize brain and spinal lesions during surgery thus facilitating more accurate surgical exposure. In managing brain, skull base and spinal tumors, IMRI enables the neurosurgeon to check for residual tumor before leaving the operating suite. Interventional magnetic resonance imaging allows identification of intraoperative and immediate postoperative complications before the patient suffers permanent brain or spinal cord injury.

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