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Neurosurgery. 2009 May;64(5 Suppl 2):231-9; discussion 239-40. doi: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000340785.51492.B5.

Intraoperative computed tomography with integrated navigation system in a multidisciplinary operating suite.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Klinikum Grosshadern, University of Munich, Munich, Germany. eberhard.uhl@ lkh-



We report our preliminary experience in a prospective series of patients with regard to feasibility, work flow, and image quality using a multislice computed tomographic (CT) scanner combined with a frameless neuronavigation system (NNS).


A sliding gantry 40-slice CT scanner was installed in a preexisting operating room. The scanner was connected to a frameless infrared-based NNS. Image data was transferred directly from the scanner into the navigation system. This allowed updating of the NNS during surgery by automated image registration based on the position of the gantry. Intraoperative CT angiography was possible. The patient was positioned on a radiolucent operating table that fits within the bore of the gantry. During image acquisition, the gantry moved over the patient. This table allowed all positions and movements like any normal operating table without compromising the positioning of the patient. For cranial surgery, a carbon-made radiolucent head clamp was fixed to the table.


Experience with the first 230 patients confirms the feasibility of intraoperative CT scanning (136 patients with intracranial pathology, 94 patients with spinal lesions). After a specific work flow, interruption of surgery for intraoperative scanning can be limited to 10 to 15 minutes in cranial surgery and to 9 minutes in spinal surgery. Intraoperative imaging changed the course of surgery in 16 of the 230 cases either because control CT scans showed suboptimal screw position (17 of 307 screws, with 9 in 7 patients requiring correction) or that tumor resection was insufficient (9 cases). Intraoperative CT angiography has been performed in 7 cases so far with good image quality to determine residual flow in an aneurysm. Image quality was excellent in spinal and cranial base surgery.


The system can be installed in a preexisting operating environment without the need for special surgical instruments. It increases the safety of the patient and the surgeon without necessitating a change in the existing surgical protocol and work flow. Imaging and updating of the NNS can be performed at any time during surgery with very limited time and modification of the surgical setup. Multidisciplinary use increases utilization of the system and thus improves the cost-efficiency relationship.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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