Neuronavigation in skull base tumors

Kurtsoy A. , Menku A., Tucer B. , Oktem I. S. , Akdemir H.

MINIMALLY INVASIVE NEUROSURGERY, vol.48, no.1, pp.7-12, 2005 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1055/s-2004-830151
  • Page Numbers: pp.7-12


Computer-assisted neuronavigation was used in 87 cases of skull base lesions (SBLs). Preoperative planning and intraoperative identification of anatomic landmarks is especially important in SBLs since it helps to avoid or minimize surgical morbidity and mortality. In this study, we assessed the accuracy and the clinical usefulness of a frameless system based on the optical digitizer in SBLs. Patients and Methods: Between April 2000 and March 2003, eighty-seven patients with SBLs were operated on in our department using cranial neuronavigation. A passive-marker-based neuronavigation system was used for intraoperative image guidance. There were 56 women and 31 men. The patient's ages ranged from 4 to 76 years (average: 45.7 year). The locations of the tumors reported in this series were as follows: frontobasal, 24 cases; sellar/parasellar, 32 cases; petroclival, 16 cases; tentorial/subtemporal, 15 cases. Results: The computer-calculated registration accuracy ranged between 0.3 and 1.7 mm (mean, 1.1 mm). Gross total removal of the SBLs was accomplished in 82 out of 87 patients as was confirmed on postoperative CT and MRI scans. The follow-up period ranged from 1 month to 48 months (average: 20.1 months). Overall mortality and severe morbidity (meningitis, permanent cranial nerve deficits, and cerebrospinal fluid fistulae) rates were 4.6% and 33.3%, respectively. Conclusion: The image-guided surgery is a valuable aid for safe, helpful and complete removal of SBLs of the brain where accurate localization of the lesion is critical. Although our preliminary series is not large, interactive image guidance provides a constant display of surgical instrument position during surgery and its relationship with the SBLs components, surrounding normal brain, and vascular structures, providing valuable guidance to the surgeon during an operation. Our experience with the neuronavigation suggests that image guidance is helpful in this type of lesions, providing better anatomic orientation during skull base surgery, delineating tumor margins and their relation to critical neurovascular structures.