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Neurosurgery. 2002 Apr;50(4):797-801; discussion 802-3.

Laser surface scanning for patient registration in intracranial image-guided surgery.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Neurocenter, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.



To report our clinical experience with a new laser scanning-based technique of surface registration. We performed a prospective study to measure the calculated registration error and the application accuracy of laser surface registration for intracranial image-guided surgery in the clinical setting.


Thirty-four consecutive patients with different intracranial diseases were scheduled for intracranial image-guided surgery by use of a passive infrared surgical navigation system. Surface registration was performed by use of a Class I laser device that emits a visible laser beam. The Polaris camera system (Northern Digital, Waterloo, ON, Canada) detects the skin reflections of the laser, which the software uses to generate a virtual three-dimensional matrix of the anatomy of each patient. An advanced surface-matching algorithm then matches this virtual three-dimensional matrix to the three-dimensional magnetic resonance therapy data set. Registration error as calculated by the computer was noted. Application accuracy was assessed by use of the localization error for three distant anatomic landmarks.


Laser surface registration was successful in all patients. For the surgical field, application accuracy was 2.4 +/- 1.7 mm (range, 1-9 mm). Application accuracy was higher for the surgical field of frontally located lesions (mean, 1.8 +/- 0.8 mm; n = 13) as compared with temporal, parietal, occipital, and infratentorial lesions (mean, 2.8 +/- 2.1 mm; n = 21).


Laser scanning for surface registration is an accurate, robust, and easy-to-use method of patient registration for image-guided surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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