Structural and Functional Mapping for Neurosurgery
The NCIGT focuses its efforts heavily on improving surgical planning, particularly with respect to neurosurgery. The goal of surgical planning when performing surgery is to remove or reduce brain tumors is to maximize the extent of tumor resection while preventing or minimizing postoperative neurologic deficits.
Two research areas that directly relate to mapping the brain for surgical planning and for which the NCIGT is well known are diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). As part of its dissemination efforts, neurosurgical investigators from the NCIGT released a NCIGT fMRI and DTI Tutorial in 2008. This tutorial was presented at an NIH/NCIGT-coordinated Clinical IGT Workshop held in March 2008 for members of the image-guided therapy community that included scientists and clinicians as well as industry and government representatives. To gauge IGT's advances, the NCIGT is performing several retrospective analyses of images taken during intraoperative neurosurgical procedures. For example, neurosurgery researchers are analyzing from a volumetric perspective the resection results from patients with metastatic brain tumors who underwent neurosurgery with intraoperative MRI-guidance. Datasets that are freely available are under Downloads along with other NCIGT resources.
Critical to the NCIGT's neurosurgery efforts is 3D Slicer, imaging software for use in surgical planning, guidance, and analysis. Recent progress within the NCIGT was the creation of a software protocol called OpenIGTLink that enables Slicer to communicate with other devices and software, an important effort in advancing image-guided therapy.
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Neurosurgery Projects at NCIGT
- Functional MRI for Neurosurgical Planning
- Diffusion Imaging and Tractography
- Clinical Experience with Intraoperative Imaging
- Measurement and Modeling of Brain Shift