An integrated visualization system for surgical planning and guidance using image fusion and an open MR.


A surgical guidance and visualization system is presented, which uniquely integrates capabilities for data analysis and on-line interventional guidance into the setting of interventional MRI. Various pre-operative scans (T1- and T2-weighted MRI, MR angiography, and functional MRI (fMRI)) are fused and automatically aligned with the operating field of the interventional MR system. Both pre-surgical and intra-operative data may be segmented to generate three-dimensional surface models of key anatomical and functional structures. Models are combined in a three-dimensional scene along with reformatted slices that are driven by a tracked surgical device. Thus, pre-operative data augments interventional imaging to expedite tissue characterization and precise localization and targeting. As the surgery progresses, and anatomical changes subsequently reduce the relevance of pre-operative data, interventional data is refreshed for software navigation in true real time. The system has been applied in 45 neurosurgical cases and found to have beneficial utility for planning and guidance. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2001;13:967-975.