Classification and Analysis of the Errors in Neuronavigation

Neurosurgery 68:1131–1143, 2011 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e318209cc45

There are many different types of errors in neuronavigation, and the reasons and results of these errors are complex. For a neurosurgeon using the neuronavigation system, it is important to have a clear understanding of when an error may occur, what the magnitude of it is, and how to avoid it or reduce its influence on the final application accuracy.

In this article, we classify all the errors into 2 groups according to the working principle of neuronavigation systems. The first group contains the errors caused by the differences between the anatomic structures in the images and that of the real patient, and the second group contains the errors occurring in transforming the position of surgical tools from the patient space to the image space. Each group is further divided into 2 subgroups.

We discuss 16 types of errors and classify each of them into one of the subgroups. The classification and analysis of these errors should help neurosurgeons understand the power and limits of neuronavigation systems and use them more properly.