Object. Conventional imaging for neuronavigation is performed using high-resolution computerized tomography (CT) scanning or a T1-weighted isovoxel magnetic resonance (MR) sequence. The extension of some lesions, however, is depicted much better on T2-weighted MR images. A possible fusion process used to match low-resolution T2-weighted MR image set with a referenced CT or T1-weighted data set leads to poor resolution in the three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction and decreases accuracy, which is unacceptable for neuronavigation. The object of this work was to develop a 3D T2-weighted isovoxel sequence (3D turbo—spin echo [TSE]) for image-guided neuronavigation of the whole brain and to evaluate its clinical application.
Methods. The authors performed a phantom study and a clinical trial on a newly developed T2-weighted isovoxel sequence, 3D TSE, for image-guided neuronavigation using a common 1.5-tesla MR imager (Siemens Sonata whole-body imager). The accuracy study and intraoperative image guidance were performed with the aid of the pointer-based Medtronic Stealth Station Treon.
The 3D TSE data set was easily applied to the navigational setup and demonstrated a high registration accuracy during the experimental trial and during an initial prospective clinical trial in 25 patients. The sequence displayed common disposable skin fiducial markers and provided convincing delineation of lesions that appear hyperintense on T2-weighted images such as low-grade gliomas and cavernomas in its clinical application.
Conclusions. Three-dimensional TSE imaging broadens the spectrum of navigational and intraoperative data sets, especially for lesions that appear hyperintense on T2-weighted images. The accuracy of its registration is very reliable and it enables high-resolution reconstruction in any orientation, maintaining the advantages of image-guided surgery.