Advances in image analysis methods and computer technology have increasingly facilitated the clinical application of three-dimensional (3D) imaging for brain tumors. These techniques have contributed to the safety of brain tumor surgery and improved the resection rate. This review describes the various types of 3D imaging that can be applied to diagnosis or surgery of brain tumors. Preoperatively acquired 3D data can be used for brain tumor surgery simulation and navigation, and are useful for elucidating the relationship between the tumor and adjacent brain structures including the cortical surface, vasculature or eloquent areas of the brain. Recent developments in 3D imaging have allowed the fusion of anatomical and functional images. Integration of 3D images by automatic registering of multiple images facilitates safe and effective treatment of brain tumors.
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