Augmented reality for the virtual dissection of white matter pathways

Sebastian Ille, Ann-Katrin Ohlerth, David Colle, Henry Colle, Olga Dragoy, John Goodden, Pierre Robe, Adrià Rofes, Emmanuel Mandonnet, Erik Robert, Djaina Satoer, Catarina Pessanha Viegas, Evy Visch-Brink, Martine van Zandvoort, Sandro M. Krieg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: The human white matter pathway network is complex and of critical importance for functionality. Thus, learning and understanding white matter tract anatomy is important for the training of neuroscientists and neurosurgeons. The study aims to test and evaluate a new method for fiber dissection using augmented reality (AR) in a group which is experienced in cadaver white matter dissection courses and in vivo tractography.Methods:Fifteen neurosurgeons, neurolinguists, and neuroscientists participated in this questionnaire-based study. We presented five cases of patients with left-sided perisylvian gliomas who underwent awake craniotomy. Diffusion tensor imaging fiber tracking (DTI FT) was performed and the language-related networks were visualized separated in different tracts by color. Participants were able to virtually dissect the prepared DTI FTs using a spatial computer and AR goggles. The application was evaluated through a questionnaire with answers from 0 (minimum) to 10 (maximum).Results:Participants rated the overall experience of AR fiber dissection with a median of 8 points (mean ± standard deviation 8.5 ± 1.4). Usefulness for fiber dissection courses and education in general was rated with 8 (8.3 ± 1.4) and 8 (8.1 ± 1.5) points, respectively. Educational value was expected to be high for several target audiences (student: median 9, 8.6 ± 1.4; resident: 9, 8.5 ± 1.8; surgeon: 9, 8.2 ± 2.4; scientist: 8.5, 8.0 ± 2.4). Even clinical application of AR fiber dissection was expected to be of value with a median of 7 points (7.0 ± 2.5).Conclusion:The present evaluation of this first application of AR for fiber dissection shows a throughout positive evaluation for educational purposes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)895–903
Number of pages9
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Early online date7-Oct-2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2021

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