Creating an Intraoperative MRI Suite for the Musculoskeletal Tumor Center

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Altered anatomy in a previously irradiated surgical bed can make accurate localization of anatomic landmarks and local recurrence nearly impossible. The use of intraoperative MRI (iMRI) has been described in neurosurgical settings, but to our knowledge, no such description has been made regarding its utility for local recurrence localization in sarcoma surgery.

Case Description

A 58-year-old female presented after previously undergoing two previous resection and reresection procedures of a myxoid liposarcoma located adjacent to her proximal femoral vasculature. After postoperative radiation therapy, she was referred to our institution where she underwent two additional reexcisions of local recurrences during a 3-year span, eventually undergoing a regional rotational muscle flap for coverage. Two years after her third reexcision procedure, she presented with two additional, nonpalpable surgical-bed local recurrences. After converting an MRI bed and scanner to allow for proximal thigh imaging in an iMRI surgical suite, the patient underwent a successful resection that achieved negative margins. To date, she remains without evidence of disease at 37 months.

Literature Review

Real-time iMRI in neurosurgical studies has shown a high rate of residual disease leading to immediate subsequent reexcision, thus lending to improved rates of negative margin resection. To our knowledge, this is the first example using iMRI technology to remove a recurrent soft tissue sarcoma that otherwise was clinically nonlocalizable.

Clinical Relevance

The use of an iMRI surgical suite can aid with identification of soft tissue nodules in conditions such as an altered tumor bed from prior resection and radiotherapy, which otherwise make recurrences difficult to localize. A team approach between administration, surgeons, and engineers is required to design and pragmatically implement the use of an MRI-compatible table extension to enhance existing iMRI surgical suite technology for extremity sarcoma resection procedures.

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