Quantification of Working Volumes, Exposure, and Target-Specific Maneuverability of the Pterional Craniotomy and Its Minimally Invasive Variants

Max Jägersberg, Jerermy Brodard, Jimmy Qiu, Alireza Mansouri, Francesco Doglietto, Fred Gentili, Walter Kucharczyk, Jean Fasel, Karl Schaller, Ivan Radovanovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective Quantitative comparison of minimally invasive and standard cranial approaches remains a methodologic challenge. The aim of this study was to apply a new digital, navigation-based method to quantify multiple parameters of the pterional, supraorbital, lateral supraorbital and mini-pterional approaches and to describe a target-specific maneuverability score. Methods Supraorbital, lateral supraorbital, mini-pterional, and standard pterional craniotomies were performed on 8 sides in 4 cadaver heads. The limits of superficial and deep exposure and surgical target points were registered with image-guidance (Medtronic Stealth). A custom software (Guided Therapeutics Eyes II Software [GTxEyesII]) calculated superficial and deep surface areas, working volumes, and target distances. Volumes were reconstructed digitally and visualized with GTxEyesII. Finally, we defined for each approach a target-specific maneuverability score based on surface exposure, target distance, target position, and anatomical obstacles. Results Surface exposure and volumes were significantly smaller for keyhole approaches compared with standard pterional craniotomy (P < 0.01). Maneuverability index scores showed the greatest values for standard pterional craniotomies, but nearly equally high scores could be achieved by one or several of the less-invasive approaches for most of the targets. Conclusions The combination of a navigation-based measurement method with custom software (GTxEyesII) provides a powerful tool for visualization and quantification of surgical approaches. Compared with standard pterional craniotomy, alternative keyhole craniotomies offer comparable deep exposure with smaller working volumes and relatively high maneuverability for specific targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)710-717.e2
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - May 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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