Preliminary study on the clinical application of augmented reality neuronavigation

D. Inoue, B. Cho, M. Mori, Y. Kikkawa, T. Amano, A. Nakamizo, K. Yoshimoto, M. Mizoguchi, M. Tomikawa, J. Hong, M. Hashizume, T. Sasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To develop an augmented reality (AR) neuronavigation system with Web cameras and examine its clinical utility. Methods The utility of the system was evaluated in three patients with brain tumors. One patient had a glioblastoma and two patients had convexity meningiomas. Our navigation system comprised the open-source software 3D Slicer (Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA), the infrared optical tracking sensor Polaris (Northern Digital Inc., Waterloo, Canada), and Web cameras. We prepared two different types of Web cameras: a handheld type and a headband type. Optical markers were attached to each Web camera. We used this system for skin incision planning before the operation, during craniotomy, and after dural incision. Results We were able to overlay these images in all cases. In Case 1, accuracy could not be evaluated because the tumor was not on the surface, though it was generally suitable for the outline of the external ear and the skin. In Cases 2 and 3, the augmented reality error was ∼2 to 3 mm. Conclusion AR technology was examined with Web cameras in neurosurgical operations. Our results suggest that this technology is clinically useful in neurosurgical procedures, particularly for brain tumors close to the brain surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-76
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neurological Surgery, Part A: Central European Neurosurgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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