Frameless neuronavigation in intracranial endoscopic neurosurgery

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  • 1 Department of Neurosurgery, Ernst Moritz Arndt University, Greifswald, Germany
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Object. Frameless computerized neuronavigation has been increasingly used in intracranial endoscopic neurosurgery. However, clear indications for the application of neuronavigation in neuroendoscopy have not yet been defined. The purpose of this study was to determine in which intracranial neuroendoscopic procedures frameless neuronavigation is necessary and really beneficial compared with a free-hand endoscopic approach.

Methods. A frameless infrared-based computerized neuronavigation system was used in 44 patients who underwent intracranial endoscopic procedures, including 13 third ventriculostomies, nine aqueductoplasties, eight intraventricular tumor biopsy procedures or resections, six cystocisternostomies in arachnoid cysts, five colloid cyst removals, four septostomies in multiloculated hydrocephalus, four cystoventriculostomies in intraparenchymal cysts, two aqueductal stent placements, and fenestration of one pineal cyst and one cavum veli interpositi. All interventions were successfully accomplished. In all procedures, the navigational system guided the surgeons precisely to the target. Navigational tracking was helpful in entering small ventricles, in approaching the posterior third ventricle when the foramen of Monro was narrow, and in selecting the best approach to colloid cysts. Neuronavigation was essential in some cystic lesions lacking clear landmarks, such as intraparenchymal cysts or multiloculated hydrocephalus. Neuronavigation was not necessary in standard third ventriculostomies, tumor biopsy procedures, and large sylvian arachnoid cysts, or for approaching the posterior third ventricle when the foramen of Monro was enlarged.

Conclusions. Frameless neuronavigation has proven to be accurate, reliable, and extremely useful in selected intracranial neuroendoscopic procedures. Image-guided neuroendoscopy improved the accuracy of the endoscopic approach and minimized brain trauma.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Henry W. S. Schroeder, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Ernst Moritz Arndt University, Sauerbruchstrasse, D—17487 Greifswald, Germany. email: schroedh@mail.uni-greifswald.de.
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