Intraoperative guidance is provided during surgery using neuronavigation. Neuronavigation systems provide a form of GPS for the brain; they register preoperative images with the patient’s head and the surgeon’s instruments during surgery. This allows the surgeon to see the location of their instruments during surgery relative to the tumor and other critical structures. Neuronavigation can be used to plan and execute an optimal surgical approach and to guide the neurosurgeon during surgery.
Our lab studies ways to enhance intraoperative guidance using new imaging technologies. This figure shows a brain tumor surrounded by cortical regions and white matter tracts that are critical to motor function. In A), orange regions overlaid on a gray-scale MRI are areas of the brain activated when the left hand is clenched revealed using functional MRI (fMRI). In B), white matter tracts associated with the motor cortex detected using Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) are overlaid in color. In C, the tumor (green), fMRI and DTI findings are visualized in a commercial neuronavigation system to help the surgeon to plan and perform optimal surgery.