Augmented Reality Registration System for Visualization of Skull Landmarks

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World Neurosurg


BACKGROUND: Augmented reality (AR) is an emerging technology in neurosurgery with the potential to become a strategic tool in the delivery of care and education for trainees. Advances in technology have demonstrated promising use for improving visualization and spatial awareness of critical neuroanatomic structures. In this report, we employ a novel AR registration system for the visualization and targeting of skull landmarks.

METHODS: A markerless AR system was used to register 3-dimensional reconstructions of suture lines onto the head via a head-mounted display. Participants were required to identify craniometric points with and without AR assistance. Targeting error was measured as the Euclidian distance between the user-defined location and the true craniometric point on the subjects' heads.

RESULTS: All participants successfully registered 3-dimensional reconstructions onto the subjects' heads. Targeting accuracy was significantly improved with AR (3.59 ± 1.29 mm). Across all target points, AR increased accuracy by an average of 19.96 ± 3.80 mm. Posttest surveys revealed that participants felt the technology increased their confidence in identifying landmarks (4.6/5) and that the technology will be useful for clinical care (4.2/5).

CONCLUSIONS: While several areas of improvement and innovation can further enhance the use of AR in neurosurgery, this report demonstrates the feasibility of a markerless headset-based AR system for visualizing craniometric points on the skull. As the technology continues to advance, AR is expected to play an increasingly significant role in neurosurgery, transforming how surgeries are performed and improving patient care.

Medical Subject Headings

Humans; Augmented Reality; Surgery, Computer-Assisted; Head; Neurosurgical Procedures; Skull

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ePub ahead of print



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