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Doernbecher Children's Hospital opens first pediatric intraoperative MRI facility on the West Coast

3-Tesla iMRI technology allows neurosurgeons to deliver better, safer brain surgery results

OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital today unveiled a 3-Tesla intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging machine that provides real-time, high-resolution images of the brain during complex surgical procedures. Housed in a new 10,000 square-foot surgical and imaging suite, the iMRI -- the first within a dedicated children's hospital on the West Coast -- will allow OHSU Doernbecher neurosurgeons to more precisely and safely remove most tumors in a single operation, thus reducing the emotional and physical toll on families, and advancing the overall care of children with brain tumors, epilepsy and other neurological conditions.

“We are proud to integrate this innovative iMRI technology into OHSU’s existing imaging infrastructure, which is rapidly becoming recognized as one of the strongest imaging programs in the country,” said Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A., OHSU President. “When coupled with our expert neurological teams, the 3-Tesla iMRI will positively impact a range of neuroscience activity from research to cutting edge medical procedures, benefitting both children and adults alike.”

OHSU Doernbecher’s state-of-the-art iMRI suite combines an operating room environment with a powerful MRI facility. During surgery, the 3-Tesla 18,000-pound magnet travels into the operating room on overhead rails and then retracts when the scan is complete. Moving the MRI rather than the patient during surgery enhances safety and reduces exposure to infection. With iMRI, the neurosurgical team can detect and treat any unexpected complications before leaving the operating room.

“Brain surgery often succeeds or fails by a millimeter, but during surgery, the brain can shift by 10 times that much,” said Nathan Selden, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.A.P., Campagna Professor and Chair, Department of Neurological Surgery, OHSU School of Medicine. “Using this 3-Tesla iMRI, our surgeons will create new and highly precise brain maps during surgery that will give children a better chance for cure. This game-changer reaffirms OHSU Doernbecher’s commitment to provide the best care to children across our region.”

The OHSU Doernbecher iMRI suite cost $19 million to build and equip, and is made possible through philanthropy - including a generous gift from the family of Arnold and Leona Poletiek –as well as hospital capital. The first surgical procedure in the new facility will take place in March 2016.


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