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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2011 Aug;42(2):158-66. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2011.03.032. Epub 2011 May 25.

Efficient implementation of patient-specific simulated rehearsal for the carotid artery stenting procedure: part-task rehearsal.

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  • 1Department of Biosurgery and Surgical Technology, Imperial College London, St. Mary's Hospital, London, UK.



Patient-specific simulated rehearsal (PsR) is a technological advance within the domain of endovascular virtual reality (VR) simulation. It allows incorporation of patient-specific computed tomography Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (CT DICOM) data into the simulation and subsequent rehearsal of real patient cases. This study aimed to evaluate whether a part-task rehearsal (PTr) of a carotid artery stenting procedure (CAS) on a VR simulator is as effective as a full-task (FTr) preoperative run through.


Medical trainees were trained in the CAS procedure and randomised to a PTr or FTr of a challenging CAS case (Type-II arch). PTr consisted of 30 min of repeated catheterisations of the common carotid artery (CCA). Thereafter, both groups performed the CAS procedure in a fully functional simulated operating suite (SOS) with an interventional team. Technical performances were assessed using simulator-based metrics and expert ratings. Other aspects of performance were assessed using the Non-Technical Skills for Surgeons (NOTSS) scoring.


Twenty trainees were evenly randomised to either PTr or FTr. No differences in performance were seen except for the total time the embolic protection device (EPD) was deployed (9.4 min for the PT vs. 8.1 min for the FT, p = 0.02). Total time (26.3 vs. 25.5 min, p = 0.94), fluoroscopy time (15.8 vs. 14.4 min, p = 0.68), number of roadmaps (10.5 vs. 11.0, p = 0.54), amount of contrast (53.5 vs. 58.0 ml, p = 0.33), time to deploy the EPD (0.9 vs. 0.8 min, p = 0.31) and time to catheterise the CCA (9.2 vs. 8.9 min, p = 0.94) were similar. Qualitative performances as measured by expert ratings (score 24 vs. 24, p = 0.49) and NOTSS (p > 0.05 for all categories) were also comparable.


Part- and full-task rehearsals are equally effective with respect to the operative performance of a simulated CAS intervention. This finding makes a patient-specific rehearsal more efficient and may increase the feasibility of implementation of this technology into medical practice.

Copyright © 2011 European Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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