Minneapolis hospital opens “nation’s first” paediatric hybrid intraoperative MRI neurosurgery suite

The iMRI suite at Children’s Minnesota

Children’s Minnesota (Minneapolis, USA) has claimed, in a press release, to have become the first health system in North America to open a paediatric hybrid intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) suite equipped with both moving-scanner and moving-patient MRI technology in the same surgical space.

The newly established Richard M Schulze Family Foundation iMRI Surgical Suite is a 2,970-square foot facility used by Children’s Minnesota’s neurosciences programme and radiology department. Experts will perform both brain and total spine scans mid-procedure for surgeries to treat brain tumours, epilepsy, traumatic injuries, and more, directly at the point of care at the Minneapolis-based hospital.

“The Schulze Family Foundation iMRI suite will enhance how we make important decisions at the point of care before a patient’s incision is closed,” said Meysam Kebriaei (Children’s Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA). “For example, if a mid-procedure scan detects additional tumours, we can develop a plan in real-time to remove the remaining cancerous tissue. This crucial process will help prevent additional procedures for many of our patients and maximise their chances for a good outcome.”

The suite’s design allows experts to move a 16,200-pound 3T MRI scanner directly from the facility’s diagnostic room into one of the space’s neurosurgery operating rooms via a ceiling-mounted rail system. The floorplan also allows patients in the suite’s second operating room to be moved next door into the diagnostic room for a mid-procedure MRI, the release reports.

The Richard M Schulze Family Foundation donated US$4 million towards the construction of the iMRI suite, and issued a US$1.5 million challenge-match throughout 2023 to further support both the new iMRI suite and the neurosciences programme at Children’s Minnesota.


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