ST. LOUIS - More than 40 of the world’s top pediatric and adult neurosurgeons and other specialists are scheduled to meet in St. Louis June 27 and 28 for the first conference of users of the high-field strength intraoperative MRI (iMRI) for brain surgeries.
“This is really the first high-level, international meeting of IMRIS iMRI users,” says Michael Chicoine, MD, Washington University neurosurgeon and co-chair of the meeting. “This will be an excellent opportunity to share information on best practices and outcomes and give feedback to the manufacturer about what works and what can be modified.”
“We feel that by meeting to share and discuss our experiences with the iMRI, we’ll be able to formulate some best practices and enhance the science of treating patients with certain brain diseases,” says Ralph G. Dacey, Jr., MD, chairman of neurological surgery at Washington University.
High-field strength iMRI technology with a movable magnet has been in use in neurological surgery for a limited time at only a small number of institutions worldwide. Barnes-Jewish Hospital opened its multi-room iMRI operating suite in April of 2008, the eighth IMRIS movable iMRI in the country at the time.
After tumor removal is completed, the surgeon can take high resolution diagnostic-quality MRIs of the patient to determine if in fact the entire tumor has been removed, and then take appropriate steps to remove any remaining tumor. The result is greater patient safety; complete removal of the tumor, and preventing the need for a second “follow-up” surgery.
The technology was developed and is manufactured by IMRIS, a Canadian-based company. IMRIS is helping to sponsor the conference here.
Specialists expected to participate in the conference come from leading national academic centers including the University of California – San Francisco, Harvard Medical School, Yale Medical School and the Cleveland Clinic. In addition, physicians from China and Canada are scheduled to attend, says Dr. Chicoine.
A major discussion at the meeting will be whether use of the iMRI technology to remove more cancerous tissue during surgery can extend survival for patients with malignant glioma – the deadliest form of brain tumor, but also discussed will be more benign tumors such as lower grade gliomas, pituitary adenomas, and other conditions. says Dr. Chicoine, MD.
“Dr. Mitch Berger, who’s known as one of the top experts on glioma, is presenting,” Dr. Chicoine says. “Results indicate that because we’re able to remove more tumor using the iMRI, patients are living longer.”
To view a video of the iMRI suite at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, click http://bjhne.ws/iMRI-video.