The aim of this study was to analyze the positional effect of MRI on the accuracy of neuronavigational localization for posterior fossa (PF) lesions when the operation is performed with the patient in the prone position.
Ten patients with PF tumors requiring surgery in the prone position were prospectively enrolled in the study. All patients underwent preoperative navigational MRI in both the supine and prone positions in a single session. Using simultaneous intraoperative registration of the supine and prone navigational MR images, the authors investigated the images’ accuracy, spatial deformity, and source of errors for PF lesions. Accuracy was determined in terms of differences in the ability of the supine and prone MR images to localize 64 test points in the PF by using a neuronavigation system. Spatial deformities were analyzed and visualized by in-house–developed software with a 3D reconstruction function and spatial calculation of the MRI data. To identify the source of differences, the authors investigated the accuracy of fiducial point localization in the supine and prone MR images after taking the surface anatomy and age factors into consideration.
Neuronavigational localization performed using prone MRI was more accurate for PF lesions than routine supine MRI prior to prone position surgery. Prone MRI more accurately localized 93.8% of the tested PF areas than supine MRI. The spatial deformities in the neuronavigation system calculated using the supine MRI tended to move in the posterior-superior direction from the actual anatomical landmarks. The average distance of the spatial differences between the prone and supine MR images was 6.3 mm. The spatial difference had a tendency to increase close to the midline. An older age (> 60 years) and fiducial markers adjacent to the cervical muscles were considered to contribute significantly to the source of differences in the positional effect of neuronavigation (p < 0.001 and p = 0.01, respectively).
This study demonstrated the superior accuracy of neuronavigational localization with prone-position MRI during prone-position surgery for PF lesions. The authors recommend that the scan position of the neuronavigational MRI be matched with the surgical position for more precise localization.