Awake craniotomy, electrophysiologic mapping, and tumor resection with high-field intraoperative MRI

Ian F. Parney, Stephan J. Goerss, Kiaran McGee, John Huston, William J. Perkins, Frederic B. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Awake craniotomy and electrophysiologic mapping (EPM) is an established technique to facilitate the resection of near eloquent cortex. Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) is increasingly used to aid in the resection of intracranial lesions. Standard draping protocols in high-field iMRI units make awake craniotomies challenging, and only two groups have previously reported combined EPM and high-field iMRI. Methods: We present an illustrative case describing a simple technique for combining awake craniotomy and EPM with high-field iMRI. A movable platter is used to transfer the patient from the operating table to a transport trolley and into the adjacent MRI and still maintaining the patient's surgical position. This system allows excess drapes to be removed, facilitating awake craniotomy. Results: A 57-year-old right-handed man presented with new onset seizures. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a large left temporal mass. The patient underwent an awake, left frontotemporal craniotomy. The EPM demonstrated a single critical area for speech in his inferior frontal gyrus. After an initial tumor debulking, the scalp flap was loosely approximated, the wound was covered with additional drapes, and the excess surrounding drapes were trimmed. An iMRI was obtained. The image-guidance system was re-registered and the patient was redraped. Additional resection was performed, allowing extensive removal of what proved to be an anaplastic astrocytoma. The patient tolerated this well without any new neurological deficits. Conclusions: Standard protocols for positioning and draping in high-field iMRI units make awake craniotomies problematic. This straightforward technique for combined awake EPM and iMRI may facilitate safe removal of large lesions in eloquent cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-551
Number of pages5
JournalWorld neurosurgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Awake craniotomy
  • Electrophysiologic mapping
  • High-field intraoperative MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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