Application of electromagnetic technology to neuronavigation: A revolution in image-guided neurosurgery: Technical note

Department of Neurosurgery, The Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Lower Lane Fazakerley
Journal of Neurosurgery (Impact Factor: 3.15). 04/2009; 111(6):1179-84. DOI: 10.3171/2008.12.JNS08628
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The authors investigated the practicality of electromagnetic neuronavigation in routine clinical use, and determined the applications for which it is at the advantage compared with other systems.
A magnetic field is generated encompassing the surgical volume. Devices containing miniaturized coils can be located within the field. The authors report on their experience in 150 cases performed with this technology.
Electromagnetic neuronavigation was performed in 44 endoscopies, 42 ventriculoperitoneal shunt insertions for slit ventricles, 21 routine shunt insertions, 6 complex shunt insertions, 14 external ventricular drain placements for traumatic brain injury, 5 awake craniotomies, 5 Ommaya reservoir placements, and for 13 other indications. Satisfactory positioning of ventricular catheters was achieved in all cases. No particular changes to the operating theater set-up were required, and no significant interference from ferromagnetic instruments was experienced. Neurophysiological monitoring was not affected, nor did it affect electromagnetic guidance.
Neuronavigation enables safe, accurate surgery, and may ultimately reduce complications and improve outcome. Electromagnetic technology allows frameless, pinless, image-guided surgery, and can be used in all procedures for which neuronavigation is appropriate. This technology was found to be particularly advantageous compared with other technologies in cases in which freedom of head movement was helpful. Electromagnetic neuronavigation was therefore well suited to CSF diversion procedures, awake craniotomies, and cases in which rigid head fixation was undesirable, such as in neonates. This technology extends the application of neuronavigation to routine shunt placement and ventricular catheter placement in patients with traumatic brain injury.

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