Real‐time augmented reality application in presurgical planning and lesion scalp localization by a smartphone

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:1069–1078

Objective A smartphone augmented reality (AR) application (app) was explored for clinical use in presurgical planning and lesion scalp localization.

Methods We programmed an AR App on a smartphone. The accuracy of the AR app was tested on a 3D-printed head model, using the Euclidean distance of displacement of virtual objects. For clinical validation, 14 patients with brain tumors were included in the study. Preoperative MRI images were used to generate 3D models for AR contents. The 3D models were then transferred to the smartphone AR app. Tumor scalp localization was marked, and a surgical corridor was planned on the patient’s head by viewing AR images on the smartphone screen. Standard neuronavigation was applied to evaluate the accuracy of the smartphone. Max-margin distance (MMD) and area overlap ratio (AOR) were measured to quantitatively validate the clinical accuracy of the smartphone AR technique.

Results In model validation, the total mean Euclidean distance of virtual object displacement using the smartphone AR app was 4.7 ± 2.3 mm. In clinical validation, the mean duration of AR app usage was 168.5 ± 73.9 s. The total mean MMD was 6.7 ± 3.7 mm, and total mean AOR was 79%.

Conclusions The smartphone AR app provides a new way of experience to observe intracranial anatomy in situ, and it makes surgical planning more intuitive and efficient. Localization accuracy is satisfactory with lesions larger than 15 mm.