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A large tumor of the acoustic nerve was pressing on the brain stem. It could not be removed completely, but University of Chicago neurosurgeons hoped to make the few remaining years of the patient, an elderly woman, as comfortable as possible. They proposed to go directly to the tumor's center, then core out as much as possible.
Operating room preparations, however, included something extra. George J. Dohrmann III, MD, PhD, and Jonathan M. Rubin, MD, PhD, set up the ultrasound equipment they've been using in neurological surgery since 1980.
In this case, a neurosurgical resident wondered aloud why they were going to all that trouble, since "you can see the tumor clearly on the CT [computed tomography] scan."
"Well," said Dohrmann, an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the university's Pritzker School of Medicine, "let's see what ultrasound will do for us." What ultrasound will do for all neurosurgeons, Rubin and
Gunby P. Ultrasound provides a 'window' into the brain during surgery. JAMA. 1982;247(23):3171–3174. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320480003001
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