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MR-Guided Functional Neurosurgery

Laser Ablation and Deep Brain Stimulation

Boone, Christine E. PhD*; Wojtasiewicz, Teresa MD*; Moukheiber, Emile MD; Butala, Ankur MD; Jordao, Ligia BSN, RN, MBA; Mills, Kelly A. MD; Sair, Haris MD§; Anderson, William S. MD, PhD*

Topics in Magnetic Resonance Imaging: June 2018 - Volume 27 - Issue 3 - p 171–177
doi: 10.1097/RMR.0000000000000152
Review Articles

Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) is increasingly implemented for image-guided procedures in functional neurosurgery. iMRI facilitates accurate electrode implantation for deep brain stimulation (DBS) and is currently an alternative method for DBS electrode targeting. The application of iMRI also allows for greater accuracy and precision in laser-induced thermal therapy (LITT). The expanding use of functional neurosurgical procedures makes safety and feasibility of iMRI important considerations, particularly in patients with comorbidities or complex medical histories. We review here the applications of iMRI and discuss its safety, feasibility, and limitations in functional neurosurgery.

To motivate discussion of this topic, we also present a 52-year-old patient with an implanted cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) who successfully underwent iMRI-guided DBS electrode implantation for advanced Parkinson disease (PD). Neither iMRI nor the passage of electrical current through the implanted DBS electrodes demonstrated detectable interference in ICD function. This case demonstrates that, even in complex clinical contexts, iMRI is a promising tool that merits further exploration for procedures requiring highly accurate and precise identification of target structures.

*Department of Neurosurgery

Department of Neurology

Department of Pediatric Cardiology

§Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.

Address correspondence to William S. Anderson, MD, PhD, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Neurosurgery, 600 North Wolfe Street, Meyer 8-181, Baltimore, MD 21287 (e-mail:

The authors have no conflict of interest.

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