AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 29, Number 2, 2020

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New Laser-Based Imaging System & Artificial Intelligence Algorithm, Used in Conjunction, Accurately Identify Brain Tumors

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A novel method of combining advanced optical imaging with an artificial intelligence algorithm produces accurate, real-time intraoperative diagnosis of brain tumors, a new study finds. 

The study examined the diagnostic accuracy of brain tumor image classification through machine learning, compared with the accuracy of pathologist interpretation of conventional histologic images. The results for both methods were comparable: the AI-based diagnosis was 94.6% accurate, compared with 93.9% for the pathologist-based interpretation. 

The imaging technique, stimulated Raman histology (SRH), reveals tumor infiltration in human tissue by collecting scattered laser light, illuminating essential features not typically seen in standard histologic images. 

The microscopic images are then processed and analyzed with artificial intelligence, and in under two and a half minutes, surgeons are able to see a predicted brain tumor diagnosis. Using the same technology, after the resection, they are able to accurately detect and remove otherwise undetectable tumor.  

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