Presurgical and Intraoperative Augmented Reality in Neuro-Oncologic Surgery: Clinical Experiences and Limitations.


Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address: [Email]


Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) represent novel adjuncts for neurosurgical planning in neuro-oncology. In addition to established use in surgical and medical training, VR/AR are gaining traction for clinical use preoperatively and intraoperatively. To understand the utility of VR/AR in the clinical setting, we conducted a literature search in Ovid MEDLINE and EMBASE with various search terms designed to capture the use of VR/AR in neurosurgical procedures for resection of cranial tumors. The search retrieved 302 articles, of which 35 were subjected to full-text review; 19 full-text articles were included in the review. Key findings highlighted by the individual authors were extracted and summarized into themes to present the value of VR/AR in the clinical setting. These studies included various VR/AR systems applied to surgeries involving heterogeneous pathologies and outcome measures. Overall, VR/AR were found to be qualitatively advantageous due to enhanced visualization of complex anatomy and improved intraoperative lesion localization. When these technologies were compared with existing neuronavigation systems, quantitative clinical benefits were also reported. The capacity to visualize three-dimensional images superimposed on patient anatomy is a potentially valuable tool in complex neurosurgical environments. Surgical limitations may be addressed through future advances in image registration and tracking as well as intraoperatively acquired imaging with the ability to yield real-time virtual models.


Augmented reality,Neuro-oncology,Virtual reality,