A virtual environment for surgical image guidance in intraoperative MRI
ABSTRACT Intraoperative MRI has recently entered the operating room as a new imaging modality. Customized visualization systems might further facilitate the use of this imaging technology. A visualization system for use in the interventional MRI has been developed, providing a virtual environment for surgical navigation using real-time images and for controlling the scanner. The visualization system has customized features for certain clinical applications. A training and testing facility has also been established. The introduction of the visualization system in the interventional MRI overcame several ambiguities and inconsistencies that were previously present, and resulted in a more transparent man-machine interface approach. A pilot study using the software to place cryoprobes in an animal liver showed promising results. Augmentation of real-time MR images with 3D rendering and customized navigation features opens new possibilities in intraoperative MRI. The described system can also be extended to other intraoperative imaging modalities. Comp Aid Surg 7:187–196 (2002). © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.