The hospital is the first pediatric facility in Florida to acquire this leading-edge equipment, which brings MRI technology – recognized as the "gold standard" in differentiating between healthy and abnormal brain tissue – directly into the surgical suite to enhance safety and ensure complete removal of tumors and preservation of healthy tissue.

The new iMRI system is attached to a ceiling-mounted track system that brings the MRI directly to the child in the surgical suite, as needed. The high-resolution magnetic resonance images provide surgeons with a view of the affected area in real-time to determine if the targeted area is thoroughly treated or if surgical plans need to be adjusted before procedure completion.

When not in use, the iMRI is housed in a separate imaging suite, where it can be used for MRI procedures for hospital inpatients requiring anesthesia monitoring. The iMRI is integrated with the hospital's Brainlab Cranial neuro-navigation application in the operating suite. This technology provides surgeons with "GPS-like guidance" within the brain.

The Intraoperative MRI supports our neurosurgical team in maximizing resection of abnormal tissue in the safest manner possible," said Dr. John Ragheb, Director of the Division of Neurosurgery at Nicklaus Children's.

 "Studies demonstrate that use of an intraoperative MRI improves safety and the effectiveness of surgery, therefore giving the best possible neurosurgical results in the hands of an experienced surgical team."

The Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Nicklaus Children's – part of the hospital's renowned Brain Institute – is the most experienced neurosurgical service in Florida and one of the most recognized in the nation.

 The Brain Institute neurosurgeons are experts in the treatment of children with brain tumors, intractable epilepsy and other brain anomalies and are known for pioneering minimally invasive techniques. Nicklaus Children's is ranked 13th in the nation, and is the highest ranked program in Florida for pediatric neurology and neurosurgery, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2016-2017 "Best Children's Hospitals" publication. 

The iMRI is housed in a new state-of-the-art surgical suite within the hospital's Advanced Pediatric Care Pavilion, a new six-story critical care tower on the Nicklaus Children's campus, slated to open this month.

Founded in 1950 by Variety Clubs International, Nicklaus Children's Hospital – part of Miami Children's Health System – is South Florida's only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children, with more than 740 attending physicians and over 220 pediatric sub-specialists.