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  • Author or Editor: Gernot Kronreif x
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Christian Dorfer, Georgi Minchev, Thomas Czech, Harald Stefanits, Martha Feucht, Ekaterina Pataraia, Christoph Baumgartner, Gernot Kronreif and Stefan Wolfsberger

OBJECTIVE

The authors' group recently published a novel technique for a navigation-guided frameless stereotactic approach for the placement of depth electrodes in epilepsy patients. To improve the accuracy of the trajectory and enhance the procedural workflow, the authors implemented the iSys1 miniature robotic device in the present study into this routine.

METHODS

As a first step, a preclinical phantom study was performed using a human skull model, and the accuracy and timing between 5 electrodes implanted with the manual technique and 5 with the aid of the robot were compared. After this phantom study showed an increased accuracy with robot-assisted electrode placement and confirmed the robot's ability to maintain stability despite the rotational forces and the leverage effect from drilling and screwing, patients were enrolled and analyzed for robot-assisted depth electrode placement at the authors' institution from January 2014 to December 2015. All procedures were performed with the S7 Surgical Navigation System with Synergy Cranial software and the iSys1 miniature robotic device.

RESULTS

Ninety-three electrodes were implanted in 16 patients (median age 33 years, range 3–55 years; 9 females, 7 males). The authors saw a significant increase in accuracy compared with their manual technique, with a median deviation from the planned entry and target points of 1.3 mm (range 0.1–3.4 mm) and 1.5 mm (range 0.3–6.7 mm), respectively. For the last 5 patients (31 electrodes) of this series the authors modified their technique in placing a guide for implantation of depth electrodes (GIDE) on the bone and saw a significant further increase in the accuracy at the entry point to 1.18 ± 0.5 mm (mean ± SD) compared with 1.54 ± 0.8 mm for the first 11 patients (p = 0.021). The median length of the trajectories was 45.4 mm (range 19–102.6 mm). The mean duration of depth electrode placement from the start of trajectory alignment to fixation of the electrode was 15.7 minutes (range 8.5–26.6 minutes), which was significantly faster than with the manual technique. In 12 patients, depth electrode placement was combined with subdural electrode placement. The procedure was well tolerated in all patients. The authors did not encounter any case of hemorrhage or neurological deficit related to the electrode placement. In 1 patient with a psoriasis vulgaris, a superficial wound infection was encountered. Adequate physiological recordings were obtained from all electrodes. No additional electrodes had to be implanted because of misplacement.

CONCLUSIONS

The iSys1 robotic device is a versatile and easy to use tool for frameless implantation of depth electrodes for the treatment of epilepsy. It increased the accuracy of the authors' manual technique by 60% at the entry point and over 30% at the target. It further enhanced and expedited the authors' procedural workflow.

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Georgi Minchev, Gernot Kronreif, Mauricio Martínez-Moreno, Christian Dorfer, Alexander Micko, Aygül Mert, Barbara Kiesel, Georg Widhalm, Engelbert Knosp and Stefan Wolfsberger

OBJECTIVE

Robotic devices have recently been introduced in stereotactic neurosurgery in order to overcome the limitations of frame-based and frameless techniques in terms of accuracy and safety. The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and accuracy of the novel, miniature, iSYS1 robotic guidance device in stereotactic neurosurgery.

METHODS

A preclinical phantom trial was conducted to compare the accuracy and duration of needle positioning between the robotic and manual technique in 162 cadaver biopsies. Second, 25 consecutive cases of tumor biopsies and intracranial catheter placements were performed with robotic guidance to evaluate the feasibility, accuracy, and duration of system setup and application in a clinical setting.

RESULTS

The preclinical phantom trial revealed a mean target error of 0.6 mm (range 0.1–0.9 mm) for robotic guidance versus 1.2 mm (range 0.1–2.6 mm) for manual positioning of the biopsy needle (p < 0.001). The mean duration was 2.6 minutes (range 1.3–5.5 minutes) with robotic guidance versus 3.7 minutes (range 2.0–10.5 minutes) with manual positioning (p < 0.001). Clinical application of the iSYS1 robotic guidance device was feasible in all but 1 case. The median real target error was 1.3 mm (range 0.2–2.6 mm) at entry and 0.9 mm (range 0.0–3.1 mm) at the target point. The median setup and instrument positioning times were 11.8 minutes (range 4.2–26.7 minutes) and 4.9 minutes (range 3.1–14.0 minutes), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

According to the preclinical data, application of the iSYS1 robot can significantly improve accuracy and reduce instrument positioning time. During clinical application, the robot proved its high accuracy, short setup time, and short instrument positioning time, as well as demonstrating a short learning curve.

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Georgi Minchev, Gernot Kronreif, Wolfgang Ptacek, Christian Dorfer, Alexander Micko, Svenja Maschke, Federico G. Legnani, Georg Widhalm, Engelbert Knosp and Stefan Wolfsberger

OBJECTIVE

As decisions regarding tumor diagnosis and subsequent treatment are increasingly based on molecular pathology, the frequency of brain biopsies is increasing. Robotic devices overcome limitations of frame-based and frameless techniques in terms of accuracy and usability. The aim of the present study was to present a novel, minimally invasive, robot-guided biopsy technique and compare the results with those of standard burr hole biopsy.

METHODS

A tubular minimally invasive instrument set was custom-designed for the iSYS-1 robot-guided biopsies. Feasibility, accuracy, duration, and outcome were compared in a consecutive series of 66 cases of robot-guided stereotactic biopsies between the minimally invasive (32 patients) and standard (34 patients) procedures.

RESULTS

Application of the minimally invasive instrument set was feasible in all patients. Compared with the standard burr hole technique, accuracy was significantly higher both at entry (median 1.5 mm [range 0.2–3.2 mm] vs 1.7 mm [range 0.8–5.1 mm], p = 0.008) and at target (median 1.5 mm [range 0.4–3.4 mm] vs 2.0 mm [range 0.8–3.9 mm], p = 0.019). The incision-to-suture time was significantly shorter (median 30 minutes [range 15–50 minutes] vs 37.5 minutes [range 25–105 minutes], p < 0.001). The skin incision was significantly shorter (median 16.3 mm [range 12.7–23.4 mm] vs 28.4 mm [range 20–42.2 mm], p = 0.002). A diagnostic tissue sample was obtained in all cases.

CONCLUSIONS

Application of the novel instrument set was feasible in all patients. According to the authors’ data, the minimally invasive robot-guidance procedure can significantly improve accuracy, reduce operating time, and improve the cosmetic result of stereotactic biopsies.