MRI Interventions and Imris technologies combine to lessen anxiety for deep brain stimulation for paediatric patients


Imris and MRI Interventions announced that Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, USA, is the first US paediatric hospital to offer asleep deep brain stimulation surgery to children suffering from dystonia by utilising the combination of MRI Interventions’ ClearPoint Neuro Intervention System and an Imris Visius Surgical Theatre for real-time intraoperative image guidance and procedure visualisation.

“The Visius iMRI and ClearPoint guidance platform make deep brain stimulation surgery an option for these children,” says John Honeycutt, medical director of the Cook Children’s Department of Neurosurgery, who led the first two paediatric asleep procedures in early November. “It is very difficult for children to remain awake during surgery, and the real-time intraoperative visualisation and guidance we use with these technologies means they do not have to.”

Deep brain stimulation is usually performed on patients who are awake so the surgeon can assess the placement of leads by observing the effect of stimulation in an area of the brain. This is very difficult for children to manage, and children with dystonia have a lot of involuntary movement. However, the combination of ClearPoint and Visius iMRI technologies, according to a press release, enables Honeycutt to observe the surgical instruments and exact target location in the patient’s brain throughout the operation in real time, allowing these young patients to sleep through surgery and reduce the anxiety associated with it.

Using these technologies, Honeycutt is able to see and select the desired neurological target area, establish a trajectory, and visualise the target on MR images as the electrode is inserted to the desired location.

For neurosurgery, Visius iMRI at Cook Children’s brings high-field MRI to the patient inside the operating room on ceiling-mounted rails. The fully integrated suite allows the scanner to move between an operating room and a diagnostic room, providing on-demand access to high resolution MR images before, during and after procedures without moving the patient.

The ClearPoint platform is the only technology, according to the companies, that enable minimally-invasive neurosurgery under continuous MRI guidance.

In addition to asleep deep brain stimulation, the ClearPoint system has been used within a Visius Surgical Theatre to facilitate focal laser ablation and direct drug delivery in the brain.

“As one of a select group of paediatric neurosurgical centres with an Imris iMRI today and one of the largest neurosurgical programmes in the Southwest, we continue to demonstrate our institution’s commitment to the care of children with these complex neurological disorders,” Honeycutt adds.