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Daily bibliographic review of the Neurosurgery Department. La Fe University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

App-assisted external ventricular drain insertion

app-assisted-external-ventricular-drain-insertion

J Neurosurg 125:754–758, 2016

The freehand technique for insertion of an external ventricular drain (EVD) is based on fixed anatomical landmarks and does not take individual variations into consideration. A patient-tailored approach based on augmented-reality techniques using devices such as smartphones can address this shortcoming. The Sina neurosurgical assist (Sina) is an Android mobile device application (app) that was designed and developed to be used as a simple intraoperative neurosurgical planning aid. It overlaps the patient’s images from previously performed CT or MRI studies on the image seen through the device camera.

The device is held by an assistant who aligns the images and provides information about the relative position of the target and EVD to the surgeon who is performing EVD insertion. This app can be used to provide guidance and continuous monitoring during EVD placement.

The author describes the technique of Sina-assisted EVD insertion into the frontal horn of the lateral ventricle and reports on its clinical application in 5 cases as well as the results of ex vivo studies of ease of use and precision. The technique has potential for further development and use with other augmented-reality devices.

Augmented reality–guided neurosurgery: accuracy and intraoperative application of an image projection technique

Augmented reality–guided neurosurgery- accuracy and intraoperative application of an image projection technique

J Neurosurg 123:206–211, 2015

An augmented reality system has been developed for image-guided neurosurgery to project images with regions of interest onto the patient’s head, skull, or brain surface in real time. The aim of this study was to evaluate system accuracy and to perform the first intraoperative application.

Methods Images of segmented brain tumors in different localizations and sizes were created in 10 cases and were projected to a head phantom using a video projector. Registration was performed using 5 fiducial markers. After each registration, the distance of the 5 fiducial markers from the visualized tumor borders was measured on the virtual image and on the phantom. The difference was considered a projection error. Moreover, the image projection technique was intraoperatively applied in 5 patients and was compared with a standard navigation system.

Results Augmented reality visualization of the tumors succeeded in all cases. The mean time for registration was 3.8 minutes (range 2–7 minutes). The mean projection error was 0.8 ± 0.25 mm. There were no significant differences in accuracy according to the localization and size of the tumor. Clinical feasibility and reliability of the augmented reality system could be proved intraoperatively in 5 patients (projection error 1.2 ± 0.54 mm).

Conclusions The augmented reality system is accurate and reliable for the intraoperative projection of images to the head, skull, and brain surface. The ergonomic advantage of this technique improves the planning of neurosurgical procedures and enables the surgeon to use direct visualization for image-guided neurosurgery.

The use of simulation in neurosurgical education and training

Simulation in neurosurgical training

J Neurosurg 121:228–246, 2014

There is increasing evidence that simulation provides high-quality, time-effective training in an era of resident duty-hour restrictions. Simulation may also permit trainees to acquire key skills in a safe environment, important in a specialty such as neurosurgery, where technical error can result in devastating consequences. The authors systematically reviewed the application of simulation within neurosurgical training and explored the state of the art in simulation within this specialty. To their knowledge this is the first systematic review published on this topic to date.

Methods. The authors searched the Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, and PsycINFO databases and identified 4101 articles; 195 abstracts were screened by 2 authors for inclusion. The authors reviewed data on study population, study design and setting, outcome measures, key findings, and limitations.

Results. Twenty-eight articles formed the basis of this systematic review. Several different simulators are at the neurosurgeon’s disposal, including those for ventriculostomy, neuroendoscopic procedures, and spinal surgery, with evidence for improved performance in a range of procedures. Feedback from participants has generally been favorable. However, study quality was found to be poor overall, with many studies hampered by nonrandomized design, presenting normal rather than abnormal anatomy, lack of control groups and long-term follow-up, poor study reporting, lack of evidence of improved simulator performance translating into clinical benefit, and poor reliability and validity evidence. The mean Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument score of included studies was 9.21 ± 1.95 (± SD) out of a possible score of 18.

Conclusions. The authors demonstrate qualitative and quantitative benefits of a range of neurosurgical simulators but find significant shortfalls in methodology and design. Future studies should seek to improve study design and reporting, and provide long-term follow-up data on simulated and ideally patient outcomes.

Novel augmented reality–assisted percutaneous vertebroplasty

A novel 3D guidance system using augmented reality for percutaneous vertebroplasty

J Neurosurg Spine 19:492–501, 2013

Augmented reality (AR) is an imaging technology by which virtual objects are overlaid onto images of real objects captured in real time by a tracking camera. This study aimed to introduce a novel AR guidance system called virtual protractor with augmented reality (VIPAR) to visualize a needle trajectory in 3D space during percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP). The AR system used for this study comprised a head-mount display (HMD) with a tracking camera and a marker sheet. An augmented scene was created by overlaying the preoperatively generated needle trajectory path onto a marker detected on the patient using AR software, thereby providing the surgeon with augmented views in real time through the HMD. The accuracy of the system was evaluated by using a computer-generated simulation model in a spine phantom and also evaluated clinically in 5 patients.

In the 40 spine phantom trials, the error of the insertion angle (EIA), defined as the difference between the attempted angle and the insertion angle, was evaluated using 3D CT scanning. Computed tomography analysis of the 40 spine phantom trials showed that the EIA in the axial plane significantly improved when VIPAR was used compared with when it was not used (0.96° ± 0.61° vs 4.34° ± 2.36°, respectively). The same held true for EIA in the sagittal plane (0.61° ± 0.70° vs 2.55° ± 1.93°, respectively). In the clinical evaluation of the AR system, 5 patients with osteoporotic vertebral fractures underwent VIPARguided PVP from October 2011 to May 2012. The postoperative EIA was evaluated using CT.

The clinical results of the 5 patients showed that the EIA in all 10 needle insertions was 2.09° ± 1.3° in the axial plane and 1.98° ± 1.8° in the sagittal plane. There was no pedicle breach or leakage of polymethylmethacrylate.

VIPAR was successfully used to assist in needle insertion during PVP by providing the surgeon with an ideal insertion point and needle trajectory through the HMD. The findings indicate that AR guidance technology can become a useful assistive device during spine surgeries requiring percutaneous procedures.

Neurosurgery Department. “La Fe” University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

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