AbstractOBJECTIVE:This article demonstrates the usefulness and the problems of present-state software for virtual endoscopy as a tool for the planning and simulation of minimally invasive neurosurgical procedures.METHODS:The software Navigator (General Electric Medical Systems, Buc, France) was applied for virtual endoscopic visualization of three-dimensional magnetic resonance data sets of healthy volunteers and neurosurgical patients, using a clinical magnetic resonance scanner (1.5-T Signa Hispeed; General Electric Medical Systems). Classical approaches for minimally invasive procedures were simulated.RESULTS:Virtual endoscopy provided impressive three-dimensional views of intracranial and intracerebral cavities, with visualization of many anatomic details of the brain's inner and outer surfaces. The method proved to be especially suited for the simulation and planning of operations of intraventricular lesions, for which the technical limitations of the present state of development of this method have fewer implications. However, the present state of technology, as described in this article, has two major shortcomings: 1) the blood vessels cannot be visualized together with the brain tissue and cranial nerves; and 2) different tissue compartments cannot be stained in their original coloring, which would facilitate their recognition and thus orientation in space by anatomic landmarks. Another important disadvantage at this stage is time consumption for many single working steps.CONCLUSION:Virtual endoscopy is a promising tool for teaching and training in intracranial neuroanatomy as well as for planning and simulation of minimally invasive (e.g., endoscopic), mainly intraventricular, operations. Direct clinical application is, at this stage of development, limited by several technical shortcomings of visualization and quantification of distances and modeling of surfaces.
Neurosurgery – Oxford University Press
Published: Sep 1, 1998
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