St. Tammany Parish Hospital, Ochsner Health System Partner On Neurosurgery Technology

BrightMatter utilizes Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) during an MRI to highlight white matter tracts in a patient’s brain.

COVINGTON, LA – St. Tammany Parish Hospital and Ochsner Health System announced next steps in bringing complex neurological care to patients on the North Shore. BrightMatter™, the latest innovation in brain tumor and disease diagnoses and surgery, is now available to patients at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans as well as Ochsner Neurosciences Institute and St. Tammany Parish Hospital in Covington.

         "In addition to investments already made in talent, technology and facilities, the level of imaging now available to us through the BrightMatter technology is a significant benefit to our patients on the North Shore," said Sebastian Koga MD, chairman of neurosurgery and medical director, Ochsner Neuroscience Institute, North Shore region. "The neurosciences program at Ochsner coupled with our neurosurgery operating suite, Neuro ICU and highly skilled team at St. Tammany Parish Hospital allows us to deliver an expanded breadth and depth of neuroscience care locally.”

         BrightMatter utilizes Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) during an MRI to highlight white matter tracts in a patient’s brain. This advanced imaging then makes complex calculations to produce 3-D, color mapping of the brain, which allows for better diagnoses of various lesions including tumors, epilepsy and Parkinson’s. The technology also provides physicians with more effective surgical planning tools as well as 3-D navigation support during surgery. The unique tool works within the electronic health record to display patient information in a storyline so that treating physicians can see all pathology, scans and treatment in one view.

         “MRI imaging is the gold standard for both diagnosis and surgical planning,” said Dr. Marcus Ware, senior physician, neurosurgery, Ochsner Health System. “Integrating the BrightMatter technology to enhance our imaging capabilities and mapping is extremely beneficial as we work with our patients and peers to develop the most robust and precise treatment plans. This resource not only provides support for those of us planning surgery but for the entire care team across neurology and neurosurgery.”

         This latest step, adding BrightMatter at STPH, builds upon earlier investments. Since 2015, Ochsner has hired two neurosurgeons and five neurologists dedicated to providing care to west St. Tammany patients. STPH opened a new neuroscience unit of intensive and medical/ surgical care suites and a larger operating suite to accommodate complex neurosurgeries including robotic cameras, brain navigation devices, 3D visualization and high-field microscopes.

         “Advancing the neurosciences at St. Tammany has been a major goal of our partnership with Ochsner for three years,” said Bob Capitelli MD, STPH chief medical officer. “Significant investments in equipment, technology and personnel have made that goal a reality. The residents of our parish no longer need to travel outside our area to receive the highest quality neurosurgical care.”

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