Introduction and Review of Imaging Modalities

Imaging of the Neural Axis Today, as surgeons, we have at our disposal a medley of imaging tools that include plain film radiographs, computer tomography (CT), CT angiography, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, MR angiography, conventional (catheter) angiography, and positron emission tomography (PET) as well as other nuclear medicine studies. An array of more advanced imaging techniques, including MR spectroscopy, MR perfusion, CT perfusion, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and functional MRI (fMRI), further helps to characterize disease. For the standard neurosurgeon, the workhorse imaging modalities will be CT and MR. In this chapter, we review the fundamentals of neuroimaging techniques. Individual disease processes, both the operable and several inoperable, are reviewed in the dedicated neuroradiology chapters. Radiographic Studies When evaluating a lesion with any imaging modality, it is important to remember the clinical picture from which the image was derived. The acuity and...

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