From the advancement in imaging techniques and computers have emerged the new idea of the vision of image-guided, computer-assisted, minimally invasive surgery (6). While a variety of imaging modalities could be used for image-guided therapy (IGT), MRI has the greatest potential as it can better characterize soft tissue, it is sensitive to temperature for monitoring of thermal therapies and it can detect vascular flow. For these reasons, GE Medical Systems has developed the Signa SP/2. This new concept of “double-doughnut” magnet/system is the most distinctive and versatile open-architecture MR system, specially designed to perform image-guided, computer-assisted minimally invasive interventional/surgical procedures. The most important feature is the integration of a tracking/navigational system to guide image acquisition by instruments such as biopsy needle, laser fiber, cryo probe, etc. The real time imaging mode continuously monitors the position of the instrument in different planes. A more advanced image processing software can be used during thermal ablation for therapy monitoring. The Signa SP/2 has a variety of coils to fulfill the imaging needs during head, spine, breast, abdominal or prostate intervention/surgery. The design of the system allows for easy integration into the standard OR environment. The vertically open design of the magnet allows the opportunity to either do kinematic imaging (lumbar/cervical spine, knee, shoulder) by either standing, kneeling or sitting on a special MR compatible chair. The excellent integration of IGT in the Signa SP/2 will become a new standard for several types of interventions for improved patient outcome.
GE Medical Systems, München, Germany 2:
GE Medical Systems, Mississauga (Ont), Canada 3:
GE Medical Systems, Waukesha, WI, U.S.A 4:
Klinikum Krefeld, Department of Neurosurgery, Germany