Image Guidance for Placement of Ommaya Reservoirs: Comparison of Fluoroscopy and Frameless Stereotactic Navigation in 145 Patients

Peter F. Morgenstern, Scott Connors, Anne S. Reiner, Jeffrey P. Greenfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective Ommaya reservoirs are used for administration of intrathecal chemotherapy and cerebrospinal fluid sampling. Ventricular catheter placement for these purposes requires a high degree of accuracy. Various options exist to optimize catheter placement. We analyze a cohort of patients receiving catheters using 2 different technologies. Methods Retrospective chart review was performed on patients undergoing Ommaya reservoir placement between 2011 and 2014. Most procedures were assisted by either frameless stereotactic neuronavigation or fluoroscopic guidance with pneumoencephalogram. Catheter accuracy, revision rates, perioperative complications, and operative time were measured. Preoperative similarities and differences in diagnosis, demographics, and ventricular size were also recorded to avoid a biased assessment of our results. Results One-hundred and forty-five patients were included, 57 using fluoroscopic guidance and 88 using frameless stereotaxy. Common diagnoses in both groups were lymphoma and leptomeningeal disease. Qualitative measures of catheter placement accuracy showed no significant difference between the 2 groups. Proximity to the foramen of Monro favored fluoroscopy by a small margin (8.6 mm vs. 10.2 mm, P = 0.03). Overall revision rates were not significantly different between the groups (3.5% vs. 4.5%, P = 1.00). Early surgical complications occurred in 6.8% of the frameless stereotaxy group and 1.8% of the fluoroscopy group (P = 0.25). Conclusions Ommaya reservoirs can be placed accurately using different methods. Although there are slight differences between fluoroscopy and frameless stereotaxy in quantitative accuracy and procedure time, there is no significant advantage of 1 method over the other when evaluating revision or complication rates. Technique familiarity and surgeon preference may dictate the preferred procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-158
Number of pages5
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Fluoroscopy
  • Frameless stereotaxy
  • Neuronavigation
  • Ommaya reservoir
  • Ventricular catheter


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