Intra-operative fMRI has the potential to improve neurosurgical outcomes and we have previously shown that the task-related BOLD signal can be acquired under general anaesthesia. Our next goal was to acquire fMRI intra-operatively with the skull open.
In 12 patients, we performed 24 acquisitions of a passive sensorimotor paradigm during the resection of their brain tumour. The fMRI data were evaluated by neuroradiologists, assessing its applicability for the provision of a clinical report on the location of sensorimotor activation to the neurosurgeon. 17/24 acquisitions were scored as useful.
We conclude that intra-operative fMRI is feasible and produces clinically useful data.