Image-guided interventions are medical procedures that use computer-based systems to provide virtual image overlays to help the physician precisely visualize and target the surgical site. This field has been greatly expanded by the advances in medical imaging and computing power over the past 20 years. This review begins with a historical overview and then describes the component technologies of tracking, registration, visualization, and software. Clinical applications in neurosurgery, orthopedics, and the cardiac and thoracoabdominal areas are discussed, together with a description of an evolving technology named Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES). As the trend toward minimally invasive procedures continues, image-guided interventions will play an important role in enabling new procedures, while improving the accuracy and success of existing approaches. Despite this promise, the role of image-guided systems must be validated by clinical trials facilitated by partnerships between scientists and physicians if this field is to reach its full potential.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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