A novel use of cone beam CT: flexion and extension weight‑bearing imaging to assess spinal stability

European Spine Journal (2022) 31:1667–1681

Purpose To assess spinal stability in different physiological positions whilst weight-bearing.

Methods A cone beam CT scanner (CBCT) was used to identify any abnormal motion in the spine in different physiological positions whilst weight-bearing. The lumbar spine was assessed in 6 different patients with a comfortable neutral standing position and standing flexion and extension images in selected patients. Seated, weight-bearing flexion and extension images of the cervical spine were obtained in a further patient. Clinical indications included stability assessment post-trauma, post-surgical fusion and back pain. The projection images were reconstructed using bone and soft tissue algorithms to give isotropic CT images which could be viewed as per conventional multi-detector CT images. The flexion and extension CBCT data were fused to give a representation of any spinal movement between the extremes of motion.

Results The flexion and extension weight-bearing images gave anatomical detail of the spine. Detail of the surgical constructs was possible. Dynamic structural information about spinal alignment, facet joints, exit foramina and paraspinal musculature was possible. The effective dose from the neutral position was equal to that of supine, multi-detector CT.

Conclusion CBCT can be used to image the lumbar and cervical spine in physiological weight-bearing positions and at different extremes of spinal motion. This novel application of an existing technology can be used to aid surgical decision making to assess spinal stability and to investigate occult back and leg pain. Its use should be limited to specific clinical indications, given the relatively high radiation dose.

Intraoperative CT and cone-beam CT imaging for minimally invasive evacuation of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage

Acta Neurochirurgica (2020) 162:3167–3177

Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for evacuation of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) has shown promise but there remains a need for intraoperative performance assessment considering the wide range of evacuation effectiveness. In this feasibility study, we analyzed the benefit of intraoperative 3-dimensional imaging during navigated endoscopyassisted ICH evacuation by mechanical clot fragmentation and aspiration.

Methods 18 patients with superficial or deep supratentorial ICH underwent MIS for clot evacuation followed by intraoperative computerized tomography (iCT) or cone-beamCT (CBCT) imaging. Eligibility for MIS required (a) availability of intraoperative iCT or CBCT, (b) spontaneous lobar or deep ICH without vascular pathology, (c) a stable ICH volume (20–90 ml), (d) a reduced level of consciousness (GCS 5–14), and (e) a premorbid mRS ≤ 1. Demographic, clinical, and radiographic patient data were analyzed by two independent observers.

Results Nine female and 9 male patients with a median age of 76 years (42–85) presented with an ICH score of 3 (1–4), GCS of 10 (5–14) and ICH volume of 54 ± 26 ml. Clot fragmentation and aspiration was feasible in all cases and intraoperative imaging determined an overall evacuation rate of 80 ± 19% (residual hematoma volume: 13 ± 17 ml; p < 0.0001 vs. Pre-OP).Based on the intraoperative imaging results, 1/3rd of all patients underwent an immediate re-aspiration attempt. No patient experienced hemorrhagic complications or required conversion to open craniotomy. However, routine postoperative CT imaging revealed early hematoma re-expansion with an adjusted evacuation rate of 59 ± 30% (residual hematoma volume: 26 ± 37 ml; p < 0.001 vs. Pre-OP).

Conclusions Routine utilization of iCTor CBCT imaging in MIS for ICH permits direct surgical performance assessment and the chance for immediate re-aspiration, which may optimize targeting of an ideal residual hematoma volume and reduce secondary revision rates.