Neurosurgery Blog


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

Placement of thoracolumbar pedicle screws using O-arm-based navigation

Placement of thoracolumbar pedicle screws using O-arm-based navigation- technical note on controlling the operational accuracy of the navigation system

Neurosurg Rev (2013) 36:157–162

Suboptimal placements of pedicle screws may lead to neurological and vascular complications. Computer-assisted image guidance has been shown to improve accuracy in spinal instrumentation.Checking the accuracy of the navigation system during pedicle screw placement is fundamental.

We describe a novel technique of using continuous accuracy check of the navigation system during O-arm based neuronavigation to instrument the thoracolumbar region.

Forty thoracic and 42 lumbar screws were inserted in 12 patients. The Mirza evaluation system was used to evaluate the accuracy of the inserted screws. There was no neurological injury and no need to reposition any screw. The accuracy of the screws placement was excellent.

Our technique of continuous at will operational accuracy check of the neuronavigation system is associated with extreme accuracy of screw placement, no need to bring a patient back to the operating room to reposition a pedicle screw, and with excellent outcome.

Transphenoidal surgery in acromegalic patients: anatomical considerations and potential pitfalls

Transphenoidal surgery in acromegalic patients- anatomical considerations and potential pitfalls.1 Transphenoidal surgery in acromegalic patients- anatomical considerations and potential pitfalls

Acta Neurochir (2013) 155:125–130

Transphenoidal surgery is an effective treatment for acromegalic patients with growth hormone (GH) producing pituitary adenomas. Since acromegaly is a systemic disease which causes multiple bony alterations, we hypothesized that it could affect the sphenoid sinus anatomy. The aim of the study was to determine whether acromegalic patients have sphenoid sinus alterations with potential surgical impact.

Methods Fourty-six consecutive patients (23 acromegalics- GH group, 23 non-acromegalics-nGH group) undergoing transphenoidal surgery were included in this study. Preoperative volumetric CT scan of the head was used to assess the following anatomic characteristics: type of sphenoid sinus (sellar, pre-sellar, conchal); number of intrasphenoid septa; number of carotid-directed septa; intercarotid distance; depth of the sphenoid sinus; depth and size of the sella.

Results The sphenoid sinus was of the pre-sellar/conchal type in 26 % of the patients with acromegaly (n023) versus 9 % of the patients of the nGH group (n023). The number of intrasphenoid septations was significantly higher in the GH group than in the nGH group (P=.03). Interestingly, the intercarotid distance was smaller in GH patients than in nGH displaying a trend toward significance (P=.05). The sphenoid bone was deeper in the GH group as compared to the nGH group (P=.01) but the distance sphenoid sinus-sella was reduced (P<.01). Finally, the sella was not deeper, nor larger in acromegalic patients.

Conclusions The sphenoid sinus of acromegalic patients resulted in being deeper, characterized by more septa and by a reduced intercarotid distance. These alterations deserve special pre- and intraoperative care, being potentially responsible for surgical difficulties.

Clinical Application of Motor Pathway Mapping Using Diffusion Tensor Imaging Tractography and Intraoperative Direct Subcortical Stimulation in Cerebral Glioma Surgery

Neurosurgery 71:1170–1184, 2012

Glioma surgery in eloquent areas remains a challenge because of the risk of postoperative motor deficits.

OBJECTIVE: To prospectively evaluate the efficiency of using a combination of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography functional neuronavigation and direct subcortical stimulation (DsCS) to yield a maximally safe resection of cerebral glioma in eloquent areas.

METHODS: A prospective cohort study was conducted in 58 subjects with an initial diagnosis of primary cerebral glioma within or adjacent to the pyramidal tract (PT). The white matter beneath the resection cavity was stimulated along the PT, which was visualized with DTI tractography. The intercept between the PT border and DsCS site was measured. The sensitivity and specificity of DTI tractography for PT mapping were evaluated. The efficiency of the combined use of both techniques on motor function preservation was assessed.

RESULTS: Postoperative analysis showed gross total resection in 40 patients (69.0%). Seventeen patients (29.3%) experienced postoperative worsening; 1-month motor deficit was observed in 6 subjects (10.3%). DsCS verified a high concordance rate with DTI tractography for PT mapping. The sensitivity and specificity of DTI were 92.6% and 93.2%, respectively. The intercepts between positive DsCS sites and imaged PTs were 2.0 to 14.7 mm (5.262.2 mm). The 6-month Karnofsky Performance Scale scores in 50 postoperative subjects were significantly increased compared with their preoperative scores.

CONCLUSION: DTI tractography is effective but not completely reliable in delineating the descending motor pathways. Integration of DTI and DsCS favors patient-specific surgery for cerebral glioma in eloquent areas.

Management of C2 fractures using Iso-C3D guidance

Acta Neurochir 154 (10):1781-1787, 2012

About 20 % of cervical fractures involve the C2 vertebra. Many surgical techniques have been proposed according to the type of fracture. However, morbidity and mortality of these procedures is often high, which can be attributed to the old age and significant co-morbidities of the affected population and the complex anatomy of C2. To target the latter, several authors have applied iso-C3D guidance for most of the common techniques. We here present our experience using a fixed protocol and iso-C3D guidance in all cases of traumatic C2 fractures.
Methods: Sixteen patients were operated upon between April 2011 and April 2012 using Iso-C3D guidance, following a fixed routine protocol. The screw position was verified by CT-scanning. Intraoperative and clinical parameters were evaluated.
Results: Six patients received anterior lag-screw fixation of odontoid fractures. Two underwent isolated posterior lag-screw fixation of hangman’s fracture. C1 and/or C3 lateral mass, and/or C2 isthmic screws were placed in eight patients. No screw had to be revised, 3 minor breachings of the cortical bone of <2 mm were observed.The same standard protocol for draping, registration of the navigation and Iso-C3D guided drilling could be applied for anterior and posterior procedures, leaving only two variables. This led to rapid acceptance of the technique among OR-staff and surgeons, who felt comfortable with iso-C3D guidance after only five cases.
Conclusions: Iso-C3D guidance is a safe and straightforward technique for anterior and posterior screw placement in the upper cervical spine.

Frameless image-guided stereotaxy with real-time visual feedback for brain biopsy

Acta Neurochir (2012) 154:1663–1667 DOI 10.1007/s00701-012-1425-y

Frame-based stereotaxy remains the “gold standard” for cerebral biopsies and functional neurosurgery though new frameless stereotactic systems are evolving continually. As the technique of frameless stereotaxy gains increasing acceptance among neurosurgeons, this study assesses the feasibility of a system for frameless imageguided stereotaxy.

Methods All patients biopsied for intracranial lesions between February 2007 and August 2010 using the BrainLAB VarioGuide frameless stereotactic system were evaluated prospectively. Prior to surgery, patients underwent magnetic resonance (MR) imaging; additionally, fluoroethyl-tyrosine (FET)-positron emission tomography (PET) images were acquired and fused to MR images in selected cases. Biopsy trajectory length, lesion volume, procedure duration, and diagnostic yield were assessed.

Results Ninety-six diagnostic biopsies in 91 patients were evaluated. Lesion volume ranged from 0.17 to 121.8 cm3; trajectory length from 25.3 to 101.9 mm. Diagnostic yield was 93.8%. Mean operation time from skin incision to wound closure was 42 min; in the operating room, it was 99 min.

Conclusions Clinical experience indicates VarioGuide to be safe and accurate. Reachable range of lesion localisation appears to be comparable to a frame-based stereotaxy system. Operation times are brief. The unique design of this frameless stereotactic system allows real-time visual feedback of needle positioning.

High-Definition Fiber Tractography of the Human Brain: Neuroanatomical Validation and Neurosurgical Applications

Neurosurgery 71:430–453, 2012

High-definition fiber tracking (HDFT) is a novel combination of processing, reconstruction, and tractography methods that can track white matter fibers from cortex, through complex fiber crossings, to cortical and subcortical targets with subvoxel resolution.

OBJECTIVE: To perform neuroanatomical validation of HDFT and to investigate its neurosurgical applications.

METHODS: Six neurologically healthy adults and 36 patients with brain lesions were studied. Diffusion spectrum imaging data were reconstructed with a Generalized Q-Ball Imaging approach. Fiber dissection studies were performed in 20 human brains, and selected dissection results were compared with tractography.

RESULTS: HDFT provides accurate replication of known neuroanatomical features such as the gyral and sulcal folding patterns, the characteristic shape of the claustrum, the segmentation of the thalamic nuclei, the decussation of the superior cerebellar peduncle, the multiple fiber crossing at the centrum semiovale, the complex angulation of the optic radiations, the terminal arborization of the arcuate tract, and the cortical segmentation of the dorsal Broca area. From a clinical perspective, we show that HDFT provides accurate structural connectivity studies in patients with intracerebral lesions, allowing qualitative and quantitative white matter damage assessment, aiding in understanding lesional patterns of white matter structural injury, and facilitating innovative neurosurgical applications. High-grade gliomas produce significant disruption of fibers, and low-grade gliomas cause fiber displacement. Cavernomas cause both displacement and disruption of fibers.

CONCLUSION: Our HDFT approach provides an accurate reconstruction of white matter fiber tracts with unprecedented detail in both the normal and pathological human brain. Further studies to validate the clinical findings are needed.

Preoperative multimodal motor mapping: a comparison of magnetoencephalography imaging, navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation, and direct cortical stimulation

J Neurosurg 117:354–362, 2012

Direct cortical stimulation (DCS) is the gold-standard technique for motor mapping during craniotomy. However, preoperative noninvasive motor mapping is becoming increasingly accurate. Two such noninvasive modalities are navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) imaging. While MEG imaging has already been extensively validated as an accurate modality of noninvasive motor mapping, TMS is less well studied. In this study, the authors compared the accuracy of TMS to both DCS and MEG imaging.

Methods. Patients with tumors in proximity to primary motor cortex underwent preoperative TMS and MEG imaging for motor mapping. The patients subsequently underwent motor mapping via intraoperative DCS. The loci of maximal response were recorded from each modality and compared. Motor strength was assessed at 3 months postoperatively.

Results. Transcranial magnetic stimulation and MEG imaging were performed on 24 patients. Intraoperative DCS yielded 8 positive motor sites in 5 patients. The median distance ± SEM between TMS and DCS motor sites was 2.13 ± 0.29 mm, and between TMS and MEG imaging motor sites was 4.71 ± 1.08 mm. In no patients did DCS motor mapping reveal a motor site that was unrecognized by TMS. Three of 24 patients developed new, early neurological deficit in the form of upper-extremity paresis. At the 3-month follow-up evaluation, 2 of these patients were significantly improved, experiencing difficulty only with fine motor tasks; the remaining patient had improvement to 4/5 strength. There were no deaths over the course of the study.

Conclusions. Maps of the motor system generated with TMS correlate well with those generated by both MEG imaging and DCS. Negative TMS mapping also correlates with negative DCS mapping. Navigated TMS is an accurate modality for noninvasively generating preoperative motor maps.


The Use of Diffusion Tensor Images of the Corticospinal Tract in Intrinsic Brain Tumor Surgery: A Comparison With Direct Subcortical Stimulation

Neurosurgery 71:331–340, 2012 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31825b1c18

Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is now widely used in neurosurgery to preoperatively delineate the course of the pyramidal tract.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the accuracy of the method by comparison with subcortical electrical stimulation and to evaluate the influence of the distance of the pyramidal tract from the tumor on the resection extent and postoperative clinical deficits.

METHODS: A diffusion tensor imaging depiction of the pyramidal tract was used in preoperative planning and intraoperative navigation in 72 cases. In 36 cases, subcortical electrical stimulation was used during the resection. The preoperative tumor-to-tract distance was compared with the stimulation result, the extent of resection, and the short-term postoperative course.

RESULTS: A significant nonlinear relationship between the tract-to-tumor distance and the probability of a motor response to subcortical stimulation was observed. The largest preoperatively measured tumor-to-tract distance with a positive stimulation result was 8 mm. Moreover, we observed a trend toward transient postoperative motor deterioration in patients with tumors close to the pyramidal tract. Resection extent was not significantly affected by the tumor-to-tract distance.

CONCLUSION: Despite methodological obstacles, reasonable accuracy of the diffusion tensor imaging reconstructions of the pyramidal tracts was confirmed by our study. The occurrence of transient postoperative motor deterioration is higher in patients with tumors located close to the pyramidal tract.

A new strategic neurosurgical planning tool for brainstem cavernous malformations using interactive computer graphics with multimodal fusion images

J Neurosurg 117:78–88, 2012. (

In this study, the authors used preoperative simulation employing 3D computer graphics (interactive computer graphics) to fuse all imaging data for brainstem cavernous malformations. The authors evaluated whether interactive computer graphics or 2D imaging correlated better with the actual operative field, particularly in identifying a developmental venous anomaly (DVA).

Methods. The study population consisted of 10 patients scheduled for surgical treatment of brainstem cavernous malformations. Data from preoperative imaging (MRI, CT, and 3D rotational angiography) were automatically fused using a normalized mutual information method, and then reconstructed by a hybrid method combining surface rendering and volume rendering methods. With surface rendering, multimodality and multithreshold techniques for 1 tissue were applied. The completed interactive computer graphics were used for simulation of surgical approaches and assumed surgical fields. Preoperative diagnostic rates for a DVA associated with brainstem cavernous malformation were compared between conventional 2D imaging and interactive computer graphics employing receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis.

Results. The time required for reconstruction of 3D images was 3–6 hours for interactive computer graphics. Observation in interactive mode required approximately 15 minutes. Detailed anatomical information for operative procedures, from the craniotomy to microsurgical operations, could be visualized and simulated three-dimensionally as 1 computer graphic using interactive computer graphics. Virtual surgical views were consistent with actual operative views. This technique was very useful for examining various surgical approaches. Mean (± SEM) area under the ROC curve for rate of DVA diagnosis was significantly better for interactive computer graphics (1.000 ± 0.000) than for 2D imaging (0.766 ± 0.091; p < 0.001, Mann-Whitney U-test).

Conclusions. The authors report a new method for automatic registration of preoperative imaging data from CT, MRI, and 3D rotational angiography for reconstruction into 1 computer graphic. The diagnostic rate of DVA associated with brainstem cavernous malformation was significantly better using interactive computer graphics than with 2D images. Interactive computer graphics was also useful in helping to plan the surgical access corridor.


Influence of Navigated Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Surgical Planning for Tumors in or Near the Motor Cortex

Neurosurgery 70:1248–1257, 2012 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e318243881e 

Brain tumor surgery near the motor cortex requires careful planning to achieve the optimal balance between completeness of tumor resection and preservation of motor function. Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) can be used to map functionally essential motor areas preoperatively.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate how much influence, benefit, and impact nTMS has on the surgical planning for tumors near the motor cortex.

METHODS: This study reviewed the records of 73 patients with brain tumors in or near the motor cortex, mapped preoperatively with nTMS. The surgical team prospectively classified how much influence the nTMS results had on the surgical planning. Stepwise regression analysis was used to explore which factors predict the amount of influence, benefit, and impact nTMS has on the surgical planning.

RESULTS: The influence of nTMS on the surgical planning was as follows: it confirmed the expected anatomy in 22% of patients, added knowledge that was not used in 23%, added awareness of high-risk areas in 27%, modified the approach in 16%, changed the planned extent of resection in 8%, and changed the surgical indication in 3%.

CONCLUSION: nTMS had an objective benefit on the surgical planning in one fourth of the patients and a subjective benefit in an additional half of the patients. It had an impact on the surgery itself in just more than half of the patients. By mapping the spatial relationship between the tumor and functional motor cortex, nTMS improves surgical planning for tumors in or near the motor cortex.

Frameless robotically targeted stereotactic brain biopsy

J Neurosurg 116:1002–1006, 2012. (

Frameless stereotactic brain biopsy has become an established procedure in many neurosurgical centers worldwide. Robotic modifications of image-guided frameless stereotaxy hold promise for making these procedures safer, more effective, and more efficient. The authors hypothesized that robotic brain biopsy is a safe, accurate procedure, with a high diagnostic yield and a safety profile comparable to other stereotactic biopsy methods.

Methods. This retrospective study included 41 patients undergoing frameless stereotactic brain biopsy of lesions (mean size 2.9 cm) for diagnostic purposes. All patients underwent image-guided, robotic biopsy in which the Surgi-Scope system was used in conjunction with scalp fiducial markers and a preoperatively selected target and trajectory. Forty-five procedures, with 50 supratentorial targets selected, were performed.

Results. The mean operative time was 44.6 minutes for the robotic biopsy procedures. This decreased over the second half of the study by 37%, from 54.7 to 34.5 minutes (p < 0.025). The diagnostic yield was 97.8% per procedure, with a second procedure being diagnostic in the single nondiagnostic case. Complications included one transient worsening of a preexisting deficit (2%) and another deficit that was permanent (2%). There were no infections.

Conclusions. Robotic biopsy involving a preselected target and trajectory is safe, accurate, efficient, and comparable to other procedures employing either frame-based stereotaxy or frameless, nonrobotic stereotaxy. It permits biopsy in all patients, including those with small target lesions. Robotic biopsy planning facilitates careful preoperative study and optimization of needle trajectory to avoid sulcal vessels, bridging veins, and ventricular penetration.

Fusion of MRI/MRA images for navigation in AVM surgery

Neurosurg Focus 32 (5):E7, 2012.

Microsurgical resection of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) is facilitated by real-time image guidance that demonstrates the precise size and location of the AVM nidus. Magnetic resonance images have routinely been used for intraoperative navigation, but there is no single MRI sequence that can provide all the details needed for characterization of the AVM. Additional information detailing the specific location of the feeding arteries and draining veins would be valuable during surgery, and this detail may be provided by fusing MR images and MR angiography (MRA) sequences. The current study describes the use of a technique that fuses contrast-enhanced MR images and 3D time-of-flight MR angiograms for intraoperative navigation in AVM resection.

Methods. All patients undergoing microsurgical resection of AVMs at the Dartmouth Cerebrovascular Surgery Program were evaluated from the surgical database. Between 2009 and 2011, 15 patients underwent surgery in which this contrast-enhanced MRI and MRA fusion technique was used, and these patient form the population of the present study.

Results. Image fusion was successful in all 15 cases. The additional data manipulation required to fuse the image sets was performed on the morning of surgery with minimal added setup time. The navigation system accurately identified feeding arteries and draining veins during resection in all cases. There was minimal imaging-related artifact produced by embolic materials in AVMs that had been preoperatively embolized. Complete AVM obliteration was demonstrated on intraoperative angiography in all cases.

Conclusions. Precise anatomical localization, as well as the ability to differentiate between arteries and veins during AVM microsurgery, is feasible with the aforementioned MRI/MRA fusion technique. The technique provides important information that is beneficial to preoperative planning, intraoperative navigation, and successful AVM resection.

Intraoperative Visualization of Fiber Tracking Based Reconstruction of Language Pathways in Glioma Surgery

Neurosurgery 70:911–920, 2012 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e318237a807 

For neuroepithelial tumors, the surgical goal is maximum resection with preservation of neurological function. This is contributed to by intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) combined with multimodal navigation.

OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the contribution of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)-based fiber tracking of language pathways with 2 different algorithms (tensor deflection, connectivity analysis [CA]) integrated in the navigation on the surgical outcome.

METHODS: We evaluated 32 patients with neuroepithelial tumors who underwent surgery with DTI-based fiber tracking of language pathways integrated in neuronavigation. The tensor deflection algorithm was routinely used and its results intraoperatively displayed in all cases. The CA algorithm was furthermore evaluated in 23 cases. Volumetric assessment was performed in pre- and intraoperative MR images. To evaluate the benefit of fiber tractography, language deficits were evaluated pre- and postoperatively and compared with the volumetric analysis.

RESULTS: Final gross-total resection was performed in 40.6% of patients. Absolute tumor volume was reduced from 55.33 ± 63.77 cm3 to 20.61 ± 21.67 cm3 in first iMRI resection control, to finally 11.56 ± 21.92 cm3 (P < .01). Fiber tracking of the 2 algorithms showed a deviation of the displayed 3D objects by <5 mm. In long-term followup only 1 patient (3.1%) had a persistent language deficit.

CONCLUSION: Intraoperative visualization of language-related cortical areas and the connecting pathways with DTI-based fiber tracking can be successfully performed and integrated in the navigation system. In a setting of intraoperative high-field MRI this contributes to maximum tumor resection with low postoperative morbidity.

Diffusion tensor imaging fiber tracking using navigated brain stimulation

Acta Neurochir (2012) 154:555–563. DOI 10.1007/s00701-011-1255-3

Navigated brain stimulation (NBS) is a newly evolving technique. In addition to its supposed purpose, e.g., preoperative mapping of the central region, little is known about its further use in neurosurgery. We evaluated the usefulness of diffusion tensor imaging fiber tracking (DTI-FT) based on NBS compared to conventional characterization of the seed region.

Methods We examined 30 patients with tumors in or close to the corticospinal tract (CST) using NBS with the Nexstim eXimia system. NBS was performed for motor cortex mapping, and DTI-FT was performed by three different clinicians using BrainLAB iPlan® Cranial 3.0.1 at two time points. Number of fibers, tract volume, aberrant tracts, and proximity to the tumor were compared between the two methods.

Results We recognized a higher number of fibers (1,298± 1,279 vs. 916±986 fibers; p<0.01), tract volume (23.0±15.3 vs. 18.3±14.0 cm3; p<0.01), and aberrant tracts (0.6±0.5 vs. 0.3±0.5 aberrant tracts/tracked CST; p<0.001) when the seed region was defined conventionally, while proximity of the tracts to the tumor did not differ. While NBS-based DTI-FT is independent of the planning clinician, conventional outlining of the seed region shows generally higher variability between investigators.

Conclusions Conventional DTI-FT showed significant differences between the two modalities, most likely because of the more specific definition of the seed region when DTI-FT is based on NBS. Moreover, NBS-aided DTI fiber tracking is user-independent and, therefore, a method for further standardization of DTI fiber tracking.

Electromagnetic Image-Guided Biopsy of Cerebral Lesions

Neurosurgery 70[ONS Suppl 1]:ons29–ons33, 2012 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31822d75af

In recent years, frameless navigation techniques have been reported to be safe and effective for biopsy of cerebral lesions.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of a technique of frameless, pinless electromagnetic-guided biopsy for brain lesions with the Medtronic Stealth AxiEM.

METHODS: Prospective data were collected on consecutive brain biopsies performed by a single surgeon (P.L.G.) with this technology between October 2007 and May 2010. One trajectory was made per lesion with multiple specimens taken for analysis. Outcome measures included measures of accuracy, histological yield, and complication rate.

RESULTS: A total of 150 biopsies were performed in 149 patients (84 male and 65 female patients; age range, 19.8-83.8 years). The consultant performed 49 procedures, supervising a trainee in the others. In only 1 case (0.7%) was there nondiagnosis consequent of a registration error and inaccurate trajectory. In 4 other cases (2.7%), no specific diagnosis was established, but abnormal tissue was identified histologically, and postoperative imaging confirmed accurate targeting of these lesions. There were no instances of intracranial hemorrhage or significant morbidity and no deaths directly attributable to the procedure. Four patients (2.7%) died within 30 days of the procedure but not of complications of surgery. One patient suffered a transitory neurological deficit.

CONCLUSION: Electromagnetic navigation is proven to be a simple, safe, and effective innovation for frameless and pinless biopsy of cerebral lesions. This technique is time efficient, and elimination of frame placement enhances patient comfort and facilitates the use of local anesthetic technique.

Accuracy of Diffusion Tensor Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Based Tractography for Surgery of Gliomas Near the Pyramidal Tract

Neurosurgery 70:283–294, 2012 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31823020e6

Diffusion tensor (DT) imaging-based fiber tracking is a noninvasive magnetic resonance technique that can delineate the course of white matter fibers.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the accuracy and usefulness of this DT imaging-based fiber tracking for surgery in patients with gliomas near the pyramidal tract (PT).

METHODS: Subjects comprised 32 patients with gliomas near the PT. DT imagingbased fiber tracks of the PT were generated before and within 3 days after surgery in all patients. A tractography-integrated navigation system was used during the operation. Cortical and subcortical motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) were also monitored during resection to maximize the preservation of motor function. The threshold intensity for subcortical MEPs was examined by searching the stimulus points and changing the stimulus intensity. Minimum distance between the resection border and the illustrated PT was measured on postoperative tractography.

RESULTS: In all subjects, DT imaging-based tractography of the PT was successfully performed, preoperatively demonstrating the relationship between tumors and the PT. With the use of the tractography-integrated navigation system and intraoperative MEPs, motor function was preserved postoperatively in all patients. A significant correlation was seen between threshold intensity for subcortical MEPs and the distance between the resection border and PT on postoperative DT imaging.

CONCLUSION: DT imaging-based fiber tracking is a reliable and accurate method for mapping the course of subcortical PTs. Fiber tracking and intraoperative MEPs were useful for preserving motor function in patients with gliomas near the PT.

Dual-room 1.5-T intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging suite with a movable magnet: implementation and preliminary experience

Neurosurg Rev (2012) 35:95–110. DOI 10.1007/s10143-011-0336-3

We hereby report our initial clinical experience of a dual-room intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) suite with a movable 1.5-T magnet for both neurosurgical and independent diagnostic uses. The findings from the first 45 patients who underwent scheduled neurosurgical procedures with iMRI in this suite (mean age, 41.3±12.0 years; intracranial tumors, 39 patients; cerebral vascular lesions, 5 patients; epilepsy surgery, 1 patient) were reported. The extent of resection depicted at intraoperative imaging, the surgical consequences of iMRI, and the clinical practicability of the suite were analyzed.

Fourteen resections with a trans-sphenoidal/transoral approach and 31 craniotomies were performed. Eighty-two iMRI examinations were performed in the operating room, while during the same period of time, 430 diagnostic scans were finished in the diagnostic room. In 22 (48.9%) of 45 patients, iMRI revealed accessible residual tumors leading to further resection. No iMRI-related adverse event occurred. Complete lesion removal was achieved in 36 (80%) of all 45 cases.

It is concluded that the dual-room 1.5-T iMRI suite can be successfully integrated into standard neurosurgical workflow. The layout of the dual-room suite can enable the maximum use of the system and save costs by sharing use of the 1.5-T magnet between neurosurgical and diagnostic use. Intraoperative MR imaging may provide valuable information that allows intraoperative modification of the surgical strategy.

Diffusion tensor imaging–based fiber tracking for prediction of the position of the facial nerve in relation to large vestibular schwannomas

J Neurosurg 115:1087–1093, 2011. DOI: 10.3171/2011.7.JNS11495

The reliable preoperative visualization of facial nerve location in relation to vestibular schwannoma (VS) would allow surgeons to plan tumor removal accordingly and may increase the safety of surgery. In this prospective study, the authors attempted to validate the reliability of facial nerve diffusion tensor (DT) imaging–based fiber tracking in a series of patients with large VSs. Furthermore, the authors evaluated the potential of this visualization technique to predict the morphological shape of the facial nerve (tumor compression–related flattening of the nerve).

Methods. Diffusion tensor imaging and anatomical images (constructive interference in steady state) were acquired in a series of 22 consecutive patients with large VSs and postprocessed with navigational software to obtain facial nerve fiber tracking. The location of the cerebellopontine angle (CPA) part of the nerve in relation to the tumor was recorded during surgery by the surgeon, who was blinded to the results of the fiber tracking. A correlative analysis was performed of the imaging-based location of the nerve compared with its in situ position in relation to the VS.

Results. Fibers corresponding to the anatomical location and course of the facial nerve from the brainstem to the internal auditory meatus were identified with the DT imaging–based fiber tracking technique in all 22 cases. The location of the CPA segment of the facial nerve in relation to the VS determined during surgery corresponded to the location of the fibers, predicted by the DT imaging–based fiber tracking, in 20 (90.9%) of the 22 patients. No DT imaging–based fiber tracking correlates were found with the 2 morphological types of the nerve (compact or flat).

Conclusions. The current study of patients with large VSs has shown that the position of the facial nerve in relation to the tumor can be predicted reliably (in 91%) using DT imaging–based fiber tracking. These are preliminary results that need further verification in a larger series.

Intraoperative, full-rotation, three-dimensional image (O-arm)–based navigation system for cervical pedicle screw insertion

J Neurosurg Spine 15:472–478, 2011. DOI: 10.3171/2011.6.SPINE10809

The aim of this study was to retrospectively evaluate the reliability and accuracy of cervical pedicle screw (CPS) placement using an intraoperative, full-rotation, 3D image (O-arm)–based navigation system and to assess the advantages and disadvantages of the system.

Methods. The study involved 21 consecutive patients undergoing posterior stabilization surgery of the cervical spine between April and December 2009. The patients, in whom 108 CPSs had been inserted, underwent screw placement based on intraoperative 3D imaging and navigation using the O-arm system. Cervical pedicle screw positions were classified into 4 grades, according to pedicle-wall perforations, by using postoperative CT.

Results. Of the 108 CPSs, 96 (88.9%) were classified as Grade 0 (no perforation), 9 (8.3%) as Grade 1 (perforations < 2 mm, CPS exposed, and < 50% of screw diameter outside the pedicle), and 3 (2.8%) as Grade 2 (perforations between ≥ 2 and < 4 mm, CPS breached the pedicle wall, and > 50% of screw diameter outside the pedicle). No screw was classified as Grade 3 (perforation > 4 mm, complete perforation). No neurovascular complications occurred because of CPS placement.

Conclusions. The O-arm offers high-resolution 2D or 3D images, facilitates accurate and safe CPS insertion with high-quality navigation, and provides other substantial benefits for cervical spinal instrumentation. Even with current optimized technology, however, CPS perforation cannot be completely prevented, with 8.3% instances of minor violations, which do not cause significant complications, and 2.8% instances of major pedicle violations, which may cause catastrophic complications. Therefore, a combination of intraoperative 3D image–based navigation with other techniques may result in more accurate CPS placement.

Accuracy of Image-Guided Pedicle Screw Placement Using Intraoperative Computed Tomography- Based Navigation With Automated Referencing, Part I: Cervicothoracic Spine

Neurosurgery 69:782–795, 2011 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e318222ae16

Image-guided spinal instrumentation reduces the incidence of implant misplacement.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the accuracy of intraoperative computed tomography (iCT)-based neuronavigation (iCT-N).

METHODS: In 35 patients (age range, 18-87 years), a total of 248 pedicle screws were placed in the cervical (C1-C7) and upper and midthoracic (T1-T8) spine. An automated iCT registration sequence was used for multisegmental instrumentation, with the reference frame fixed to either a Mayfield head clamp and/or the most distal spinous process within the instrumentation. Pediculation was performed with navigated drill guides or Jamshidi cannulas. The angular deviation between navigated tool trajectory and final implant positions (evaluated on postinstrumentation iCT or postoperative CT scans) was calculated to assess the accuracy of iCT-N. Final screw positions were also graded according to established classification systems. Mean follow-up was 16.7 months.

RESULTS: Clinically significant screw misplacement or iCT-N failure mandating conversion to conventional technique did not occur. A total of 71.4% of patients self-rated their outcome as excellent or good at 12 months; 99.3% of cervical screws were compliant with Neo classification grades 0 and 1 (grade 2, 0.7%), and neurovascular injury did not occur. In addition, 97.8% of thoracic pedicle screws were assigned grades I to III of the Heary classification, with 2.2% grade IV placement. Accuracy of iCT-N progressively deteriorated with increasing distance from the spinal reference clamp but allowed safe instrumentation of up to 10 segments.

CONCLUSION: Image-guided spinal instrumentation using iCT-N with automated referencing allows safe, highly accurate multilevel instrumentation of the cervical and upper and midthoracic spine. In addition, iCT-N significantly reduces the need for reregistration in multilevel surgery.

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


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Management of a Recurrent Coiled Giant Posterior Cerebral Artery Aneurysm

Bypass for Complex Basilar Aneurysms

Expanded Endonasal Approach for 2012 MERC

Endoscopic Endonasal Middle Clinoidectomy Video 1

Endoscopic Endonasal Middle Clinoidectomy Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Flash Fluorescence for MCA Bypass Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Flash Fluorescence for MCA Bypass Video 1

Neurosurgery CNS: Endoscopic Transventricular Lamina Terminalis Fenestration Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Endoscopic Transventricular Lamina Terminalis Fenestration Video 1

Neurosurgery CNS: Surgery for Giant PCOM Aneurysms Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Surgery for Giant PCOM Aneurysms Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Endovascular-Surgical Approach to Cavernous dAVF

Neurosurgery CNS: Lateral Supraorbital Approach Applied to Anterior Clinoidal Meningiomas Video 4

Neurosurgery CNS: Lateral Supraorbital Approach Applied to Anterior Clinoidal Meningiomas Video 3

Neurosurgery CNS: Lateral Supraorbital Approach Applied to Anterior Clinoidal Meningiomas Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Lateral Supraorbital Approach Applied to Anterior Clinoidal Meningiomas Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Surgery of AVMs in Motor Areas

NeurosurgeryCNS: The Fenestrated Yaşargil T-Bar Clip

NeurosurgeryCNS: Cotton-Clipping Technique to Repair Intraoperative Aneurysm Neck Tear Video 3

NeurosurgeryCNS: Cotton-Clipping Technique to Repair Intraoperative Aneurysm Neck Tear Video 2

NeurosurgeryCNS: Cotton-Clipping Technique to Repair Intraoperative Aneurysm Neck Tear Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS. ‘Double-Stick Tape’ Technique for Offending Vessel Transposition in Microvascular Decompression

NeurosurgeryCNS: Advances in the Treatment and Outcome of Brain Stem Cavernous Malformation Surgery: 300 Patients

3T MRI Integrated Neuro Suite

NeurosurgeryCNS: 3D In Vivo Modeling of Vestibular Schwannomas and Surrounding Cranial Nerves Using DIT

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 7

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 6

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 5

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 4

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 3

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 2

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Corticotomy Closure Avoids Subdural Collections After Hemispherotomy

NeurosurgeryCNS: Operative Nuances of Side-to-Side in Situ PICA-PICA Bypass Procedure

NeurosurgeryCNS. Waterjet Dissection in Neurosurgery: An Update After 208 Procedures: Video 3

NeurosurgeryCNS. Waterjet Dissection in Neurosurgery: An Update After 208 Procedures: Video 2

NeurosurgeryCNS. Waterjet Dissection in Neurosurgery: An Update After 208 Procedures: Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Fusiform Aneurysms of the Anterior Communicating Artery

NeurosurgeryCNS. Initial Clinical Experience with a High Definition Exoscope System for Microneurosurgery

NeurosurgeryCNS: Endoscopic Treatment of Arachnoid Cysts Video 2

NeurosurgeryCNS: Endoscopic Treatment of Arachnoid Cysts Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Typical colloid cyst at the foramen of Monro.

NeurosurgeryCNS: Neuronavigation for Neuroendoscopic Surgery

NeurosurgeryCNS:New Aneurysm Clip System for Particularly Complex Aneurysm Surgery

NeurosurgeryCNS: AICA/PICA Anatomical Variants Penetrating the Subarcuate Fossa Dura

Craniopharyngioma Supra-Orbital Removal

NeurosurgeryCNS: Use of Flexible Hollow-Core CO2 Laser in Microsurgical Resection of CNS Lesions

NeurosurgeryCNS: Ulnar Nerve Decompression

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm

NeurosurgeryCNS: ICG Videoangiography

NeurosurgeryCNS: Inappropiate aneurysm clip applications

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