MRI and Atlas Fusion

Image processing software is required during the preplanning process to fuse the CT and MRI scans. The ideal software program calibrates an individual patient's imaging studies to three standard neurosurgical atlases, the Talairach, Schaltenbrand, and Watkins, and "warps" the atlases until they reflect the patient's anatomy (Fig. 1). There are nomograms to correct for individual variations in anatomy. This set of images can then be plugged into any or all of several surgical planning modules that provide for comprehensive planning of trajectories, designed to optimize the intervention and minimize damage to uninvolved tissue.

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