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Volume 60, n° 6
page 347 (décembre 2014)
Doi : 10.1016/j.neuchi.2014.10.071
Réunion de la Société de Neurochirurgie de Langue Française, Montrouge, 7-10 décembre 2014

Targetting of the ventro-intermediate nucleus using ultra-high field (7T) MRI for gamma knife surgery purposes: A pilot in vivo study on healthy subjects

C. Tuleasca , E. Najdenovska, J. Marques, F. Vingerhoets, J. Thiran, M. Bach Cuadra, M. Levivier
 Lausanne, Switzerland 

Corresponding author.

Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) is a non-invasive neurosurgical stereotactic procedure, increasingly used as an alternative to open functional procedures. This includes targeting of the ventro-intermediate nucleus of the thalamus (e.g. Vim) for tremor. We currently perform an indirect targeting, as the Vim is not visible on current 3Tesla MRI acquisitions. Our objective was to enhance anatomic imaging (aiming at refining the precision of anatomic target selection by direct visualisation) in patients treated for tremor with Vim GKS, by using high field 7T MRI.

Materials and methodsh

Five young healthy subjects were scanned on 3 (T1-w and diffusion tensor imaging) and 7T (high-resolution susceptibility weighted images (SWI)) MRI in Lausanne. All images were further integrated for the first time into the Gamma Plan Software® (Elekta Instruments, AB, Sweden) and co-registered (with T1 was a reference). A simulation of targeting of the Vim was done using various methods on the 3T images. Furthermore, a correlation with the position of the found target with the 7T SWI was performed. The atlas of Morel et al. (Zurich, CH) was used to confirm the findings on a detailed analysis inside/outside the Gamma Plan.


The use of SWI provided us with a superior resolution and an improved image contrast within the basal ganglia. This allowed visualization and direct delineation of some subgroups of thalamic nuclei in vivo, including the Vim. The position of the target, as assessed on 3T, perfectly matched with the supposed one of the Vim on the SWI. Furthermore, a 3-dimensional model of the Vim-target area was created on the basis of the obtained images.


This is the first report of the integration of SWI high field MRI into the LGP, aiming at the improvement of targeting validation of the Vim in tremor. The anatomical correlation between the direct visualization on 7T and the current targeting methods on 3T (e.g. quadrilatere of Guyot, histological atlases) seems to show a very good anatomical matching. Further studies are needed to validate this technique, both by improving the accuracy of the targeting of the Vim (potentially also other thalamic nuclei) and to perform clinical assessment.

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© 2014  Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.
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