MRI Interventions' ClearPoint System Utilized at Cincinnati Children's Hospital for Asleep Deep Brain Stimulation Procedure in Pediatric Dystonia

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IRVINE, Calif., Sept. 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MRI Interventions, Inc. (OTCQB: MRIC) announced today that its ClearPoint® Neuro Intervention System for real-time MRI-guided navigation in minimally-invasive neurosurgery procedures has been utilized at Cincinnati Children's Hospital to perform deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery for treatment of pediatric dystonia while the patient rested under general anesthesia.

Dr. Ellen Air, neurosurgeon at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, has performed DBS electrode placement to relieve debilitating movement symptoms related to pediatric dystonia, a movement disorder characterized by short, irregular, involuntary muscle contractions. While the patient slept through surgery, Dr. Air used the ClearPoint system's live MRI guidance to achieve accurate placement of DBS electrodes and to verify results of the procedure immediately upon completion.

DBS surgery is usually performed with the patient awake to provide feedback, which the surgeon uses to help guide electrode placement. However, young patients incapacitated by dystonia often do not make good candidates for the conventional awake surgery.

"Awake surgery can be difficult on younger patients," said Dr. Air. "MRI-guided DBS enables me to provide the same level of care while the patient is under general anesthesia, extending the option of DBS surgery to a group of young people with dystonia whose symptoms could be relieved with DBS but who are not able to tolerate the awake procedure."

The ClearPoint surgical platform is the only technology to enable minimally-invasive neurosurgery under continuous MRI guidance, which provides superior visualization of the brain's tissue compared to other imaging technologies and does not use radiation to obtain images, making it an ideal method for continuous visualization during surgery. The ability to keep the MRI machine running through an entire procedure without additional radiological risk to the patient means surgeons can rely on the ClearPoint system's image guidance rather than an awake patient's feedback.

Using the ClearPoint system, a surgeon sees and selects a neurological target, aims the ClearPoint targeting device and watches via MR-imaging as the surgical instrument, in this case, a DBS lead, is advanced to the target location inside the patient's brain. The surgeon can then immediately confirm results of the procedure with MR imaging before removing the patient from the operating environment.

The option to rest under general anesthesia during surgery opens the door to certain operations for a range of patients who otherwise could not tolerate the procedures. In addition to pediatric patients, patients who experience anxiety about being awake, who would have to stop taking medications before their awake surgery, or who would experience extreme physical discomfort during an awake procedure may benefit from an MRI-guided "asleep" DBS procedure.

About MRI Interventions, Inc.

Founded in 1998, MRI Interventions is creating innovative platforms for performing the next generation of minimally invasive surgical procedures in the brain and heart. Utilizing a hospital's existing MRI suite, the company's FDA-cleared ClearPoint® system is designed to enable a range of minimally invasive procedures in the brain. MRI Interventions has a co-development and co-distribution agreement with Brainlab, a leader in software-driven medical technology, relating to the ClearPoint system. In partnership with Siemens Healthcare, MRI Interventions is developing the ClearTrace® system to enable MRI-guided catheter ablations to treat cardiac arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation. Building on the imaging power of MRI, the company's interventional platforms strive to improve patient care while reducing procedure costs and times. MRI Interventions is also working with Boston Scientific Corporation to incorporate its MRI-safety technologies into Boston Scientific's implantable leads for cardiac and neurological applications. For more information, please visit www.mriinterventions.com.

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CONTACT: MRI Interventions, Inc. David Carlson, CFO, 901-522-9300

Source:MRI Interventions, Inc.