Video processor pioneers neurosurgery

APRIL 27--Surgeons at the Wallace-Kettering Neuroscience Institute (WKNI; Dayton, OH) use computer technology to fuse magnetic-resonance-imaging (MRI) and computed- tomography (CT) anatomical scans with positron-emission-tomography (PET) biochemical scans to operate on brain lesions with safe and accurate procedures.

APRIL 27--Surgeons at the Wallace-Kettering Neuroscience Institute (WKNI; Dayton, OH) use computer technology to fuse magnetic-resonance-imaging (MRI) and computed-tomography (CT) anatomical scans with positron-emission-tomography (PET) biochemical scans to operate on brain lesions with safe and accurate procedures. The WKNI operating room is equipped with the SuperView 100 video processor from RGB Spectrum (Alameda, CA; www.rgb.com) and a 42-in. plasma screen from NEC Electronics Inc. (Santa Clara, CA; www.nec.com) for real-time updates of visual information.

The video processor receives x-ray, MR, CT, and PET images; neuronavigation visuals; and RGB video converted from a HDTV video camera coupled to a surgical microscope. It combines these video images with computer-generated inputs containing 3-D spatial data and real-time physiological data in VGA resolution that depict the patient1s heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration. The plasma screen displays these visuals in multiple overlayered windows in 1360 x 765-pixel resolution for viewing by the entire surgical team.

The multi-input processor accepts as many as ten real-time inputs and displays the combined outputs on the single plasma screen. The window-type inputs can be NTSC or PAL, composite and S-Video, and high-resolution analog RGB video at a 1280 x 1024-pixel resolution. Each window can be independently positioned, scaled to full screen, overlaid with computer graphics or overlapped with other windows. The surgeons can pan and zoom within each video image.

Audio Visual Systems (AV; Dayton, OH) was the systems integrator of the critical display components. John Ellis, AV specialist, says, "The challenge was to find a solution that had the flexibility of handling various input signals of different resolutions simultaneously. Optimal image quality and clarity were essential criteria for the display technology used in the operating room."

Dr. Ted Bernstein, WKNI medical director, adds, "The video processor/plasma screen system allows all data to be easily viewed, even from across the room without having to look around. The screen displays all of the operating room information we need in multiple windows and can be strategically positioned to maximize viewing for all personnel."

Dr. Martin Salter, WKNI chief PET physicist, comments, "The video processor multiplexes crucial visuals with excellent image quality in support of the screen resolution. Our objective is to integrate the best technology to improve patient care."

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