Intraoperative Augmented Reality for Complex Glioma Resection: A Case Report

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Augmented reality (AR) is an emerging technology that can display three-dimensional patient anatomy in the surgeons' field of view. The use of this technology has grown considerably for both presurgical and intraoperative guidance. A patient diagnosed with breast cancer started to experience numbness in the left hand, which progressed to weakness in the left hand and arm. An MRI was performed demonstrating a 2.9 cm X 1.8 cm lesion with extensive surrounding edema in the posterior fronto-parietal lobes. Surgery was recommended for presumed metastatic disease. Preoperatively, an AR system and Brainlab navigation were registered to the patient. AR, traditional navigation, and ultrasound were all used to localize the lesion and determine the craniotomy site and size. The tumor was removed along the direction of the lesion. Intraoperatively, we used AR to reexamine the tumor details and could appreciate that we had to redirect our surgical trajectory anteriorly and laterally in order to follow along the main axis of the tumor. In doing this, we were able to more confidently remain with the tumor, which by this time was poorly defined by 2D navigation and by direct vision. Postoperative MRI confirmed gross total removal of the tumor. The patient had an uneventful postoperative course with resolution of preoperative symptoms and the final surgical pathology was grade 4 glioblastoma. Here, we describe the valuable use of AR for the resection of a glioma. The system has a seamless registration process and provides the surgeon with a unique view of 3D anatomy overlaid onto the patient's head. This exciting technology can add tremendous value to complex cranial surgeries.

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