Intraoperative detection of blood vessels with an imaging needle during neurosurgery in humans
A camera that can pinpoint tiny blood vessels could help brain surgeons perform safer biopsies.
Biopsies are a common procedure for extracting brain tissue samples and diagnosing diseases including cancer, but they run the risk of causing potentially fatal bleeding if a blood vessel is accidentally hit.
A University of Adelaide-led team has designed and tested a fibre-optic camera that can be inserted into the operating needle itself. The camera shines an infrared light onto the brain tissue and picks up signals of blood flow, enabling surgeons to identify vulnerable vessels around the tissue, before they make the cut. The probe can visualize much smaller vessels than pre-operation magnetic resonance scans.
Besides making brain surgery safer, imaging needles could improve the precision of therapeutic injections.
- Science Advances 4, eaav4992 (2018). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aav4992