The use of custom 3D printed stereotactic frames for laser interstitial thermal ablation: Technical note

Nicholas J. Brandmeir, James McInerney, Brad E. Zacharia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Over the last several years, laser interstitial thermotherapy (LITT) has gained wide acceptance for the treatment of a myriad of cranial lesions. A wide variety of techniques for placement of the laser fiber have been reported with a spectrum of perceived benefits and drawbacks. The authors present the first report of a customized 3D printed stereotactic frame for LITT. Approximately 1 week prior to surgery, 3-4 skull fiducials were placed after each of 5 patients received a local anesthetic as an outpatient. Radiographs with these fiducials were then used to create a trajectory to the lesion that would be treated with LITT. After the plan was completed, software was used to render a customized frame. On the day of surgery, the frame was attached to the implanted skull fiducials and the LITT catheter was placed. This procedure was carried out in 5 consecutive patients. In 2 patients, a needle biopsy was also performed. Intraoperative and postoperative imaging studies confirmed the accurate placement of the LITT catheter and the lesion created. Mean operating room time for all patients was 45 minutes but only 26 minutes when excluding the cases in which a biopsy was performed. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of the use of a specific system, the STarFix microTargeting system, for use with LITT and brain biopsy. This system offers several advantages including fast operating times, extensive preoperative planning, no need for cranial fixation, and no need for frame or fiducial placement on the day of surgery. The accuracy of the system combined with these advantages may make this a preferred stereotactic method for LITT, especially in centers where LITT is performed in a diagnostic MRI suite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE3
JournalNeurosurgical focus
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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