The iMRI suite features a moving scanner and moving-patient MRI technology

Children’s Minnesota announces it is the first health system in North America to open a pediatric hybrid intraoperative MRI (iMRI) suite equipped with both moving-scanner and moving-patient MRI technology in the same surgical space.

Located inside the Minneapolis hospital, The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation iMRI Surgical Suite is a 2,970 square-foot facility used by Children’s Minnesota’s neurosciences program and radiology department. Experts will perform both brain and total spine scans mid-procedure for surgeries to treat brain tumors, epilepsy, traumatic injuries and more directly at the point of care.

“The Schulze Family Foundation iMRI suite will enhance how we make important decisions at the point of care before a patient’s incision is closed,” says Meysam Kebriaei, MD, MBA, medical director of the neurosurgery program at Children’s Minnesota. “For example, if a mid-procedure scan detects additional tumors, we can develop a plan in real-time to remove the remaining cancerous tissue. This crucial process will help prevent additional procedures for many of our patients and maximize their chances for a good outcome.”

The suite’s design allows experts to move a 16,200-pound 3T MRI scanner directly from the facility’s diagnostic room into one of the space’s neurosurgery operating rooms via a ceiling-mounted rail system. The floorplan also allows patients in the suite’s second operating room to be moved next door into the diagnostic room for a mid-procedure MRI.

The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation generously donated $4 million towards the construction of the iMRI suite. The foundation also issued a $1.5 million challenge-match throughout 2023 to further support both the new iMRI suite and neurosciences program at Children’s Minnesota.