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Philips, Brainlab team up for intra-operative MRI

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | April 13, 2012
Ingenia MR-OR (Credit: Philips)
Philips Healthcare is teaming up with Brainlab AG to release an MRI later this year that would be housed next door to an operating room to help doctors perform scans during brain surgeries, Philips said Friday.

The device, called the Ingenia MR-OR, would let doctors wheel over a patient mid-surgery to check whether the patient's tumor had been fully cut out, Philips said.

According to a Philips website, the technology depends on a two-room set-up, with the MRI chamber adjoining the OR. A third OR can also be attached to the MRI room to boost utilization.
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Surgeries can be performed in the OR, while the patient is in the magnet, or at the back of the magnet, by sliding part of the patient through the opening. Philips provides the MRI, an Ingenia system, and Brainlab the software for registering the MRI images and for surgical navigation.

Ensuring complete resection during the surgery can help prevent a second, follow-up operation to remove the rest of the tumor, according to doctors quoted by the company.

"Whether it's for epilepsy or brain tumors, the extent of resection is very important to the patient's outcome," said Dr. Jean-Pierre Farmer, a neurosurgeon with Montreal Children's Hospital, which installed a Philips MR-OR in 2009, with an Achieva system, according to a 2010 Philips MRI brochure.

"Without imaging during surgery it can be necessary to stop resecting before the whole tumor is removed, to reduce the chance of damaging vital areas. We wanted to be able to perform MR imaging during neurosurgery to better assess the extent of resection in children during neurosurgery," he added.

According to the website, the system can come in 1.5T or 3T field strengths, and has a wide 70-centimeter bore. The Ingenia, which came out last April, is a so-called digital broadband MRI, and allows direct digital conversion of the signal on the radiofrequency coils. Philips said this results in 40 percent greater signal-to-noise ratio, and speedier scan times.

Philips said the Ingenia MR-OR should be available by the end of the year.

Watch Philips' Ingenia explanation video from last year:

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