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Radiology Research and Practice
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 197364, 9 pages
Review Article

Intraoperative Image Guidance in Neurosurgery: Development, Current Indications, and Future Trends

1Department of Neurosurgery, German Federal Armed Forces Hospital, 89081 Ulm, Germany
2Department of Radiology, German Federal Armed Forces Central Hospital, 56072 Koblenz, Germany

Received 5 January 2012; Accepted 20 February 2012

Academic Editor: Yusuf Izci

Copyright © 2012 Chris Schulz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. As minimally invasive surgery becomes the standard of care in neurosurgery, it is imperative that surgeons become skilled in the use of image-guided techniques. The development of image-guided neurosurgery represents a substantial improvement in the microsurgical treatment of tumors, vascular malformations, and other intracranial lesions. Objective. There have been numerous advances in neurosurgery which have aided the neurosurgeon to achieve accurate removal of pathological tissue with minimal disruption of surrounding healthy neuronal matter including the development of microsurgical, endoscopic, and endovascular techniques. Neuronavigation systems and intraoperative imaging should improve success in cranial neurosurgery. Additional functional imaging modalities such as PET, SPECT, DTI (for fiber tracking), and fMRI can now be used in order to reduce neurological deficits resulting from surgery; however the positive long-term effect remains questionable for many indications. Method. PubMed database search using the search term “image guided neurosurgery.” More than 1400 articles were published during the last 25 years. The abstracts were scanned for prospective comparative trials. Results and Conclusion. 14 comparative trials are published. To date significant data amount show advantages in intraoperative accuracy influencing the perioperative morbidity and long-term outcome only for cerebral glioma surgery.