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Intra-operative virtual endoscopy for image guided endonasal transsphenoidal pituitary surgery

  • Florian Schulze
  • Katja Bühler
  • André Neubauer
  • Armin Kanitsar
  • Leslie Holton
  • Stefan Wolfsberger
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

Virtual endoscopy has already proven its benefit for pre-operative planning of endoscopic pituitary surgery. The translation of such a system into the operating room is a logical consequence, but only a few general intra-operative image guided systems providing virtual endoscopic images have been proposed so far. A discussion of related visualization and interaction problems occurring during sinus and pituitary surgery is still missing.

Methods

This paper aims at filling this gap and proposes a system that integrates an existing virtual endoscopy system originally designed for pre-operative planning of pituitary surgery with a professional intra-operative navigation system. Visualization and interaction possibilities of the pre-operative planning system have been extended to fulfill the special requirements to the system if used for intra-operative navigation of endonasal transsphenoidal pituitary surgery.

Results

The feasibility of the system has been successfully tested on 1 cadaver and 12 patients. The virtual endoscopic images were found useful (1) during the endonasal transsphenoidal approach in cases of anatomic variations and for the individually tailored opening of the sellar floor, and (2) during tumor resection for respecting the internal carotid artery. The visualization of hidden anatomical structures behind the bony walls of the sphenoid sinus during the sellar phase of the surgery has been found most beneficial.

Discussion

According to our data, intra-operative virtual endoscopy provides additional anatomical information to the surgeon. By depicting individual anatomical variations in advance, it may add to the safety of this frequent neurosurgical procedure.

Keywords

Virtual endoscopy Image guided intervention Pituitary surgery 

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Copyright information

© CARS 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florian Schulze
    • 1
    • 2
  • Katja Bühler
    • 1
  • André Neubauer
    • 2
  • Armin Kanitsar
    • 3
  • Leslie Holton
    • 4
  • Stefan Wolfsberger
    • 5
  1. 1.VRVis Research Center for Virtual Reality and Visualization, Ltd.ViennaAustria
  2. 2.Industrial Materials InstituteNational Research Council CanadaBouchervilleCanada
  3. 3.AGFA HealthcareViennaAustria
  4. 4.Medtronic NavigationLouisvilleUSA
  5. 5.Department of NeurosurgeryMedical University ViennaViennaAustria

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