Use of Mixed Reality Visualization in Endoscopic Endonasal Skull Base Surgery

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14 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Neuronavigation systems assist with spatial orientation during endoscopic transnasal skull base surgery, but they require a correlation of 3-dimensional (3D) views with 2-dimensional (2D) radiology studies. OBJECTIVE: To outline an initial experience with a novel technology platform that provides intraoperative navigation using 3D reconstructions of patient anatomy for endoscopic surgery. METHODS: A retrospective study of endoscopic anterior skull base and complex paranasal procedures was performed. Data from preoperative computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans were fused to create 3D digital models of patient anatomy. Using the technology developed by Surgical Theater (Mayfield Village, Ohio), these reconstructions were designed to highlight particular anatomic regions of interest. The models were studied to guide the surgical approach and anticipate critical structures. The reconstructions were linked with the navigational technology created by Brainlab (Munich, Germany) during endoscopic surgery. A dynamic image of the reconstruction was displayed alongside a matching endoscopic camera view. These 2 views could be overlaid to provide an immersive, mixed reality image of the patient's anatomy. RESULTS: A total of 134 cases were performed. The pathologies included tumors of the anterior skull base or sinonasal cavity, inflammatory sinus disease, and cerebrospinal fluid leaks. Specific anatomic structures, such as the internal carotid arteries and optic nerves, were chosen for enhancement. Surgeons felt that the technology helped to guide the extent of bony dissection and to identify critical structures. CONCLUSION: We describe the first clinical series of complex skull base pathologies treated using a novel mixed reality platform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-52
Number of pages10
JournalOperative Neurosurgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • Endoscopic surgery
  • Image-guided surgery
  • Mixed reality
  • Skull base surgery
  • Surgical navigation


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