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Comput Aided Surg. 2011;16(2):47-53. doi: 10.3109/10929088.2011.552954. Epub 2011 Feb 4.

Re-evaluation of the role of image guidance in minimally invasive pituitary surgery: benefits and outcomes.

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Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA.



To evaluate the utility of performing endonasal transsphenoidal pituitary surgery with computer-based neuronavigation, and to examine the efficacy of computer-based neuronavigation compared to fluoroscopy.


We conducted a retrospective review of patients who underwent pituitary surgery between September 1998 and September 2008. Of 120 consecutive patients, 70 met inclusion criteria and were fully examined. The inclusion criteria were that patients had undergone endonasal transsphenoidal pituitary surgery performed by the same neurosurgeon at the same institution. Nineteen of the patients were treated using intraoperative fluoroscopy and 48 were treated using the BrainLAB VectorVision neuronavigation system. Preparation times, surgical times and associated complications were analyzed.


Our results indicate that image guidance reduces the overall operating room time and complication rate. Average preparation time for fluoroscopy and computer-based neuronavigation was 70.3 and 67.3 min, respectively (p = 0.3299). Average surgical time with fluoroscopy and BrainLAB was 131 and 107.9 min, respectively (p = 0.0079). The results were also analyzed with regard to other parameters such as associated complications, age and diagnoses.


Computer guided endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery provides a three-dimensional image to the surgeon, allowing for greater visual accuracy and surgical precision and a faster procedure without radiation exposure or the need for additional personnel.

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