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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2021 Aug 03

DOI: 10.23736/S0390-5616.21.05356-X


language: English

The use of Mixed Reality for the treatment planning of unruptured intracranial aneurysms

Vito STIFANO 1, Maria C. PALUMBO 2, Swathi CHIDAMBARAM 3, Carmelo L. STURIALE 4 , Alessio ALBANESE 1, 4, Enrico MARCHESE 1, 4, Alberto REDAELLI 2, Susan C. PANNULLO 3, 5, Alessandro OLIVI 1, 4

1 Institute of Neurosurgery, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy; 2 Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico of Milan, Milan, Italy; 3 Department of Neurological Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University, New York, NY, USA; 4 Institute of Neurosurgery, Fondazione Policlinico A. Gemelli IRCCS, Rome, Italy; 5 Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, Cornell University, New York, NY, USA


BACKGROUND: A thorough comprehension of topographic neuroanatomy is paramount in neurosurgery. In recent years, great attention has been raised towards extended reality, which comprises virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (MR) as an aid for surgery. In this paper, we describe our preliminary experience with the use of a new MR platform, aiming to assess its reliability and usefulness in the planning of surgical treatment of unruptured intracranial aneurysms.
METHODS: We prospectively enrolled 5 patients, harboring a total of 8 intracranial unruptured aneurysms, undergoing elective surgical clipping. A wearable mixed-reality device (HoloLens) was used to display and interact with a holographic model during surgical planning. Afterward, a total of 10 among surgeons and residents filled in a 5-point Likert-scale evaluation questionnaire.
RESULTS: According to the participants’ feedback, the main MR platform advantages were considered the educational value, its utility during patients positioning and craniotomy planning, as well as the anatomical and imaging interpretation during surgery. The graphic performance was also deemed very satisfactory. On the other hand, the device was evaluated as not easy to use and pretty uncomfortable when worn for a long time.
CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that MR could play important role in planning the surgical treatment of intracranial aneurysms by enhancing the visualization and understanding of the patient-specific anatomy.

KEY WORDS: Mixed reality; Extended reality; Aneurysms; Augmented reality; Intracranial

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