Microsurgical clipping of middle cerebral artery aneurysms: preoperative planning using virtual reality to reduce procedure time

Neurosurg Focus 51 (2):E12, 2021

The authors sought to evaluate the impact of virtual reality (VR) applications for preoperative planning and rehearsal on the total procedure time of microsurgical clipping of middle cerebral artery (MCA) ruptured and unruptured aneurysms compared with standard surgical planning.

METHODS A retrospective review of 21 patients from 2016 to 2019 was conducted to determine the impact on the procedure time of MCA aneurysm clipping after implementing VR for preoperative planning and rehearsal. The control group consisted of patients whose procedures were planned with standard CTA and DSA scans (n = 11). The VR group consisted of patients whose procedures were planned with a patient-specific 360° VR (360VR) model (n = 10). The 360VR model was rendered using CTA and DSA data when available. Each patient was analyzed and scored with a case complexity (CC) 5-point grading scale accounting for aneurysm size, incorporation of M2 branches, and aspect ratio, with 1 being the least complex and 5 being the most complex. The mean procedure times were compared between the VR group and the control group, as were the mean CC score between the groups. Comorbidities and aneurysm conduction (ruptured vs unruptured) were also taken into consideration for the comparison.

RESULTS The mean CC scores for the control group and VR group were 2.45 ± 1.13 and 2.30 ± 0.48, respectively. CC was not significantly different between the two groups (p = 0.69). The mean procedure time was significantly lower for the VR group compared with the control group (247.80 minutes vs 328.27 minutes; p = 0.0115), particularly for the patients with a CC score of 2 (95% CI, p = 0.0064). A Charlson Comorbidity Index score was also calculated for each group, but no statistical significance was found (VR group, 2.8 vs control group, 1.8, p = 0.14).

CONCLUSIONS In this study, usage of 360VR models for planning the craniotomy and rehearsing with various clip sizes and configurations resulted in an 80-minute decrease in procedure time. These findings have suggested the potential of VR technology in improving surgical efficiency for aneurysm clipping procedures regardless of complexity, while making the procedure faster and safer.

Development and validation of the Skills Assessment in Microsurgery for Brain Aneurysms (SAMBA) instrument for predicting proficiency in aneurysm surgery

J Neurosurg 133:190–196, 2020

Surgical performance evaluation was first described with the OSATS (Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills) and modified for aneurysm microsurgery simulation with the OSAACS (Objective Structured Assessment of Aneurysm Clipping Skills). These methods rely on the subjective opinions of evaluators, however, and there is a lack of objective evaluation for proficiency in the microsurgical treatment of brain aneurysms.

The authors present a new instrument, the Skill Assessment in Microsurgery for Brain Aneurysms (SAMBA) scale, which can be used similarly in a simulation model and in the treatment of unruptured middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms to predict surgical performance; the authors also report on its validation.

METHODS The SAMBA scale was created by consensus among 5 vascular neurosurgeons from 2 different neurosurgical departments. SAMBA results were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Cronbach’s alpha indexes, and multivariate ANOVA analyses (p < 0.05).

RESULTS Expert, intermediate-level, and novice surgeons scored, respectively, an average of 33.9, 27.1, and 16.4 points in the real surgery and 33.3, 27.3, and 19.4 points in the simulation. The SAMBA interrater reliability index was 0.995 for the real surgery and 0.996 for the simulated surgery; the intrarater reliability was 0.983 (Cronbach’s alpha). In both the simulation and the real surgery settings, the average scores achieved by members of each group (expert, intermediate level, and novice) were significantly different (p < 0.001). Scores among novice surgeons were more diverse (coefficient of variation = 12.4).

CONCLUSIONS Predictive validation of the placenta brain aneurysm model has been previously reported, but the SAMBA scale adds an objective scoring system to verify microsurgical ability in this complex operation, stratifying proficiency by points. The SAMBA scale can be used as an interface between learning and practicing, as it can be applied in a safe and controlled environment, such as is provided by a placenta model, with similar results obtained in real surgery, predicting real surgical performance.


Endovascular Treatment of 346 Middle Cerebral Artery Aneurysms

MCA aneurysmNeurosurgery 76:54–61, 2015

The endovascular treatment of middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms has been controversial because of the frequency of complex anatomy and the relative ease of surgical clipping in this location.

OBJECTIVE: To present a large single-center experience with the endovascular treatment of MCA aneurysms.

METHODS: The neurointerventional database at our institution was reviewed for all endovascular treatments of MCA aneurysms. Demographics, aneurysm characteristics, treatment modality, intraprocedural hemorrhagic and thromboembolic events, 30-day neurological events, and follow-up angiographic studies were recorded.

RESULTS: From December 1996 to April 2013, 292 patients underwent endovascular treatment of 346 MCA aneurysms. Of these, 341 (98.6%) were successfully completed. Balloon neck remodeling was used in 230 procedures (66.5%). Ninety-five procedures (27.4%) were for ruptured aneurysms. The rate of intraprocedural hemorrhage was 2.6% (9 of 346). The overall rate of intraprocedural thromboembolic events was 13.6% (47 of 346), significantly more common in patients with acute subarachnoid hemorrhage (27.4%; P, .001). The 30-day major (modified Rankin Scale score . 2) neurological event rate was 2.9% (10 of 346), significantly more common in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (8.4%) compared with those without (0.8%; P , .001). The rate of complete or near-complete aneurysm occlusion at was 90.6% $ 6 months and 91.8% at $ 2 years, with an average of 24 months of follow-up available for 247 procedures.

CONCLUSION: Endovascular treatment of MCA aneurysms can be safe and effective. However, it is associated with a high asymptomatic thromboembolic event rate that is more frequent in the setting of acute subarachnoid hemorrhage.


Focused opening of the sylvian fissure for microsurgical management of MCA aneurysms

Focused opening of the sylvian fissure for microsurgical management of MCA aneurysms

Acta Neurochir (2014) 156:17–25

A wide sylvian opening, with either a proximal or distal start, has been standard for microsurgical management of middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms. However, extensive sylvian dissection is potentially associated with increased incidence of iatrogenic injury to the brain and neurovascular structures. The aim of the present study was to describe the technique of focused opening of the sylvian fissure for microsurgical management of MCA aneurysms with additional tips on handling difficulties which may be encountered with this technique.

Method A 3D image-based anatomic orientation, clipping field–focused surgical planning, slack brain, and high magnification are the basic requirements for this approach. A 10– 15 mm sylvian opening is placed so that it allows safe access and a good surgical view of the MCA aneurysm clipping field. Under proximal control of the MCA, the aneurysm neck can be dissected and clipped effectively and safely, in this small surgical field.

Results The presented technique has been developed and refined by the senior author during the surgery of 1,097 aneurysms over the last 13 years. It has proved to be safe, and effective for clipping of both ruptured and unruptured MCA aneurysms. Its greatest advantages are a shorter operative time and less brain and vessel manipulation compared to more extensive approaches.

Conclusion The focused sylvian opening is a less-invasive alternative to the classical wide sylvian opening for the microsurgical management of most MCA aneurysms.

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