Intraoperative MRI

iMRI suite

OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital is the only West Coast children's hospital with an intraoperative (in surgery) MRI suite. Benefits of this transformative technology include:

  • Exceptional precision in brain tumor removal, epilepsy surgery and other procedures
  • Reduced chances of additional surgery
  • Better outcomes for your child or adolescent
  • Less stress for you and your family

How it works

Our powerful 3-Tesla intraoperative MRI — iMRI for short — uses magnetic resonance imaging (not radiation) to create high-resolution brain scans during surgery. This gives our pediatric neurosurgeons sharp, finely detailed maps of your child’s brain in real time. Combining these with scans taken before surgery gives doctors the most complete brain mapping possible.

Our 10,000-square-foot suite also lets patients stay in place, with the iMRI gliding to the patient when a scan is needed.

Why it matters

  • Better outcomes: The iMRI enables our pediatric neurosurgeons to operate with remarkable accuracy. They can remove tumors, for example, with less risk of damage to your child’s developing brain. They can also make sure they removed all of a tumor or as much of it as possible.
  • Precision: When surgeons use only scans taken before surgery, they have to account for inevitable shifts in the brain's position during surgery. Even a tiny shift can keep surgeons from preserving delicate pathways or entirely removing a tumor. Now our neurosurgeons can confidently complete procedures that require to-the-millimeter accuracy.
  • Fewer surgeries: This accuracy reduces the chance that your child will need a follow-up surgery. This means a lower risk for your child — and less stress for you. 
  • Immediate results: Surgeons know during surgery whether a procedure was successful. They can give you a complete update immediately afterward, lowering your stress and uncertainty.
  • Safety: Leaving the patient in place reduces exposure to infection. The iMRI also enables the surgical team to detect and handle any complications while still in surgery.