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MR-guided laser interstitial therapy (MRgLITT) is becoming more commonly used for minimal access approaches to intracranial lesions of all etiologies. The short-term safety profile of MRgLITT is favorable compared with sweeping incisions and open craniotomies, especially for lesions located in deep, periventricular, and highly eloquent areas. The Visualase software (Medtronic Inc., Minneapolis, MN, USA) has multiple adaptations to assist with this safety margin, including the thermal damage estimate (TDE), which applies predictive mathematical modeling to a two-dimensional (2D) graphical representation. TDE has been shown to highly correlate with actual tissue destruction in a priori MRgLITT cases and to anecdotally be imprecise when MRgLITT is combined with biopsy. We present a case regarding a 17-year-old male patient with intractable focal epilepsy. He underwent stereotactic biopsy and then ablation where it was shown that TDE is ~35% larger in the coronal plane than in the actual ablation zone. Air may have caused this artifact in the biopsy cavity, which affected the proton resonance frequency (PRF) and caused TDE pigment deposition. We believe in the need for a more comprehensive understanding and investigation regarding this TDE artifact. Future prospective studies into MRgLITT should attend carefully in cases where it is combined with biopsy.

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