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Intraoperative brain deformation is one of the most important causes affecting the overall accuracy of image-guided neurosurgical procedures. One option for correcting for this deformation is to acquire three-dimensional (3-D) ultrasound data during the operation and use this data to update the information provided by the preoperatively acquired MR data. For 12 patients 3-D ultrasound images have been reconstructed from freehand sweeps acquired during neurosurgical procedures. Ultrasound data acquired prior to and after opening the dura, but prior to surgery, have been quantitatively compared to the preoperatively acquired MR data to estimate the rigid component of brain shift at the first stages of surgery. Prior to opening the dura the average brain shift measured was 3.0 mm parallel to the direction of gravity, with a maximum of 7.5 mm, and 3.9 mm perpendicular to the direction of gravity, with a maximum of 8.2 mm. After opening the dura the shift increased on average 0.2 mm parallel to the direction of gravity and 1.4 mm perpendicular to the direction of gravity. Brain shift can be detected by acquiring 3-D ultrasound data during image-guided neurosurgery. Therefore, it can be used as a basis for correcting image data and preoperative planning for intraoperative deformations.