A New Noninvasive Frameless Registration System for Stereotactic Cranial Biopsy

 Operative Neurosurgery 24:64–67, 2023

Although frame-based stereotactic biopsy is still considered the gold standard for brain biopsies, frameless robot-assisted stereotactic systems are now able to provide an equal level of safety and accuracy. However, both systems suffer from a lack of efficiency of the operative workflow.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the technique of a new frameless and noninvasive registration tool Neurolocate (Renishaw). This tool, combined with an intraoperative cone-beam computed tomography imaging system like O-ARM (Medtronic), might facilitate the achievement and workflow of robot-assisted stereotactic intracranial biopsies.

METHODS: Neurolocate is a 3-dimensional fiducial tool fixed directly on the Neuromate (Renishaw) robot arm. It consists of 5 radio-opaque spherical fiducials, whose geometry is constant. This tool made it possible to carry out the coregistration then the biopsy in the same operating time, following a five-step procedure described here. We retrospectively extracted selected preliminary results from our initial experience.

RESULTS: Over 1 year, 23 consecutive adult patients were biopsied with Neurolocate in our center. The mean overall operative time, from patient’s installation to skin closure, was 97 minutes ± 27 (SD). The entire procedure took place in a single location unit (operating room), which facilitated workflow and surgical planning. No invasive gesture was performed outside of the operating time.

CONCLUSION: Neurolocate is a new frameless and noninvasive registration tool that could improve workflow and flexibility for operating room management and surgical planning. It may also increase the comfort of patients undergoing robot-assisted intracranial stereotactic biopsies. The accuracy and safety profile should be addressed in specific studies.