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High-Frequency Micro-Ultrasound Imaging and Optical Topographic Imaging for Spinal Surgery: Initial Experiences

Raphael Jakubovic, Joel Ramjist, Shaurya Gupta, Daipayan Guha, Arjun Sahgal, F. Stuart Foster, Victor X.D. Yang
Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology2018
High frequency micro-ultrasound (µUS) transducers with central frequencies up to 50 MHz facilitate dynamic visualization of patient anatomy with minimal disruption of the surgical work flow. Micro-ultrasound improves spatial resolution over conventional ultrasound imaging from millimeter to micrometer, but compromises depth penetration. This trade-off is sufficient during an open surgery in which the bone is removed and the ultrasound probe can be placed into the surgical cavity. By fusing µUS with pre-operative imaging and tracking the ultrasound probe intra-operatively using our optical topographic imaging technology, we can provide dynamic feedback during surgery, thus affecting clinical decision making. We present our initial experience using high-frequency µUS imaging during spinal procedures. Micro-ultrasound images were obtained in five spinal procedures. Medical rationale for use of µUS was provided for each patient. Surgical procedures were performed using the standard clinical practice with bone removal to facilitate real-time ultrasound imaging of the soft tissue. During surgery, the µUS probe was registered to the pre-operative computed tomography and magnetic resonance images. Images obtained comprised five spinal decompression surgeries (four tumor resections, one cystic synovial mass). Micro-ultrasound images obtained during spine surgery delineated exquisite detailing of the spinal anatomy including white matter and gray matter tracts and nerve roots and allowed accurate assessment of the extent of decompression/tumor resection. In conclusion, tracked µUS enables real-time imaging of the surgical cavity, conferring significant qualitative improvement over conventional ultrasound.
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