The use of pre-operative CT and MR images for navigation during endo-nasal skull-base endoscopic surgery is a well-established procedure in clinical practice. Fusion of CT and MR images on the endoscopic view can offer an additional advantage by directly overlaying surgical-planning information in the surgical view. Fusion of intraoperative images, such as cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), represents a step forward since these images can also account for intra-operative anatomical changes. In this work, we present a method for intra-operative CBCT image fusion on the endoscopic view for endo-nasal skull-base surgery, implemented on the Philips surgical navigation system. This is the first study which utilizes an optical tracking system (OTS) embedded in the flat-panel detector of the C-arm for endoscopic-image augmentation. In our method the OTS, co-registered in the same CBCT coordinate system, is used for tracking the endoscope. Accuracy in CBCT image registration in the endoscopic view is studied using a calibration board. Image fusion is tested in a realistic surgical scenario by using a skull phantom and inserts that mimic critical structures at the skull base. Overall performances tested on the skull phantom show a high accuracy in tracking the endoscope and registration of CBCT on endoscopic view. It can be concluded that the implemented system show potential for usage in endo-nasal skull-base surgery.
Safe and accurate placement of screws remains a critical issue in open and minimally invasive spine surgery. We propose to use diffuse reflectance (DR) spectroscopy as a sensing technology at the tip of a surgical instrument to ensure a safe path of the instrument through the cancellous bone of the vertebrae. This approach could potentially reduce the rate of cortical bone breaches, thereby resulting in fewer neural and vascular injuries during spinal fusion surgery. In our study, DR spectra in the wavelength ranges of 400 to 1600 nm were acquired from cancellous and cortical bone from three human cadavers. First, it was investigated whether these spectra can be used to distinguish between the two bone types based on fat, water, and blood content along with photon scattering. Subsequently, the penetration of the bone by an optical probe was simulated using the Monte-Carlo (MC) method, to study if the changes in fat content along the probe path would still enable distinction between the bone types. Finally, the simulation findings were validated via an experimental insertion of an optical screw probe into the vertebra aided by x-ray image guidance. The DR spectra indicate that the amount of fat, blood, and photon scattering is significantly higher in cancellous bone than in cortical bone (p < 0.01), which allows distinction between the bone types. The MC simulations showed a change in fat content more than 1 mm before the optical probe came in contact with the cortical bone. The experimental insertion of the optical screw probe gave similar results. This study shows that spectral tissue sensing, based on DR spectroscopy at the instrument tip, is a promising technology to identify the transition zone from cancellous to cortical vertebral bone. The technology therefore has the potential to improve the safety and accuracy of spinal screw placement procedures.