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Vivek Bose, Patrizio Caturegli, Jens Conrad, Wael Omran, Stephan Boor, Alf Giese and Angelika Gutenberg

The distinction between autoimmune hypophysitis and other non–hormone secreting pituitary masses is often difficult to determine with certainty without pituitary biopsy and pathological examination. To aid in this distinction, the authors recently published a clinicoradiological scoring system, which they used in the case of a 15-year-old girl presented here. The patient presented with headache, visual field defects, polydipsia, and polyuria, and she was found to have secondary hypogonadism and hypoadrenalism. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a pituitary mass of approximately 2 cm in diameter. Application of the clinicoradiological parameters gave a score of −6, which favored a diagnosis of hypophysitis over that of adenoma. The presence of pituitary autoantibodies substantiated the diagnosis of hypophysitis. The patient was treated conservatively with high-dose prednisolone, and her symptoms improved markedly. This case illustrates the utility of using a clinicoradiological score when autoimmune hypophysitis is suspected since it can identify patients who can be treated without the need for pituitary surgery.

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Gerrit Fischer, Axel Stadie, Eike Schwandt, Joachim Gawehn, Stephan Boor, Juergen Marx and Joachim Oertel

Object

The aim of the authors in this study was to introduce a minimally invasive superficial temporal artery to middle cerebral artery (STA-MCA) bypass surgery by the preselection of appropriate donor and recipient branches in a 3D virtual reality setting based on 3-T MR angiography data.

Methods

An STA-MCA anastomosis was performed in each of 5 patients. Before surgery, 3-T MR imaging was performed with 3D magnetization-prepared rapid acquisition gradient echo sequences, and a high-resolution CT 3D dataset was obtained. Image fusion and the construction of a 3D virtual reality model of each patient were completed.

Results

In the 3D virtual reality setting, the skin surface, skull surface, and extra- and intracranial arteries as well as the cortical brain surface could be displayed in detail. The surgical approach was successfully visualized in virtual reality. The anatomical relationship of structures of interest could be evaluated based on different values of translucency in all cases. The closest point of the appropriate donor branch of the STA and the most suitable recipient M3 or M4 segment could be calculated with high accuracy preoperatively and determined as the center point of the following minicraniotomy. Localization of the craniotomy and the skin incision on top of the STA branch was calculated with the system, and these data were transferred onto the patient's skin before surgery. In all cases the preselected arteries could be found intraoperatively in exact agreement with the preoperative planning data. Successful extracranial-intracranial bypass surgery was achieved without stereotactic neuronavigation via a preselected minimally invasive approach in all cases. Subsequent enlargement of the craniotomy was not necessary. Perioperative complications were not observed. All bypasses remained patent on follow-up.

Conclusions

With the application of a 3D virtual reality planning system, the extent of skin incision and tissue trauma as well as the size of the bone flap was minimal. The closest point of the appropriate donor branch of the STA and the most suitable recipient M3 or M4 segment could be preoperatively determined with high accuracy so that the STA-MCA bypass could be safely and effectively performed through an optimally located minicraniotomy with a mean diameter of 22 mm without the need for stereotactic guidance.

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Axel Thomas Stadie, Ralf Alfons Kockro, Robert Reisch, Andrei Tropine, Stephan Boor, Peter Stoeter and Axel Perneczky

Object

The authors report on their experience with a 3D virtual reality system for planning minimally invasive neurosurgical procedures.

Methods

Between October 2002 and April 2006, the authors used the Dextroscope (Volume Interactions, Ltd.) to plan neurosurgical procedures in 106 patients, including 100 with intracranial and 6 with spinal lesions. The planning was performed 1 to 3 days preoperatively, and in 12 cases, 3D prints of the planning procedure were taken into the operating room. A questionnaire was completed by the neurosurgeon after the planning procedure.

Results

After a short period of acclimatization, the system proved easy to operate and is currently used routinely for preoperative planning of difficult cases at the authors' institution. It was felt that working with a virtual reality multimodal model of the patient significantly improved surgical planning. The pathoanatomy in individual patients could easily be understood in great detail, enabling the authors to determine the surgical trajectory precisely and in the most minimally invasive way.

Conclusions

The authors found the preoperative 3D model to be in high concordance with intraoperative conditions; the resulting intraoperative “déjà-vu” feeling enhanced surgical confidence. In all procedures planned with the Dextroscope, the chosen surgical strategy proved to be the correct choice.

Three-dimensional virtual reality models of a patient allow quick and easy understanding of complex intracranial lesions.

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Naureen Keric, Christian Doenitz, Amer Haj, Izabela Rachwal-Czyzewicz, Mirjam Renovanz, Dominik M. A. Wesp, Stephan Boor, Jens Conrad, Alexander Brawanski, Alf Giese and Sven R. Kantelhardt

Objective

Recent studies have investigated the role of spinal image guidance for pedicle screw placement. Many authors have observed an elevated placement accuracy and overall improvement of outcome measures. This study assessed a bi-institutional experience following introduction of the Renaissance miniature robot for spinal image guidance in Europe.

Methods

The medical records and radiographs of all patients who underwent robot-guided implantation of spinal instrumentation using the novel system (between October 2011 and March 2015 in Mainz and February 2014 and February 2016 in Regensburg) were reviewed to determine the efficacy and safety of the newly introduced robotic system. Screw position accuracy, complications, exposure durations to intraoperative radiation, and reoperation rate were assessed.

Results

Of the 413 surgeries that used robotic guidance, 406 were via a minimally invasive approach. In 7 cases the surgeon switched to conventional screw placement, using a midline approach, due to referencing problems. A total of 2067 screws were implanted using robotic guidance, and 1857 screws were evaluated by postoperative CT. Of the 1857 screws, 1799 (96.9%) were classified as having an acceptable or good position, whereas 38 screws (2%) showed deviations of 3–6 mm and 20 screws (1.1%) had deviations > 6 mm. Nine misplaced screws, implanted in 7 patients, required revision surgery, yielding a screw revision rate of 0.48% of the screws and 7 of 406 (1.7%) of the patients. The mean ± SD per-patient intraoperative fluoroscopy exposure was 114.4 (± 72.5) seconds for 5.1 screws on average and any further procedure required. Perioperative and direct postoperative complications included hemorrhage (2 patients, 0.49%) and wound infections necessitating surgical revision (20 patients, 4.9%).

Conclusions

The hexapod miniature robotic device proved to be a safe and robust instrument in all situations, including those in which patients were treated on an emergency basis. Placement accuracy was high; peri- and early postoperative complication rates were found to be lower than rates published in other series of percutaneous screw placement techniques. Intraoperative radiation exposure was found to be comparable to published values for other minimally invasive and conventional approaches.