Target and Trajectory Clinical Application Accuracy in Neuronavigation


Catheter, needle, and electrode misplacement in navigated neurosurgery can result in ineffective treatment and severe complications.


To assess the Ommaya ventricular catheter localization accuracy both along the planned trajectory and at the target.


We measured the localization error along the ventricular catheter and on its tip for 15 consecutive patients who underwent insertion of the Ommaya catheter surgery with a commercial neuronavigation system. The preoperative computed tomography/magnetic resonance images and the planned trajectory were aligned with the postoperative computed tomography images showing the Ommaya catheter. The localization errors along the trajectory and at the target were then computed by comparing the preoperative planned trajectory with the actual postoperative catheter position. The measured localization errors were also compared with the error reported by the navigation system.


The mean localization errors at the target and entry point locations were 5.9 ± 4.3 and 3.3 ± 1.9 mm, respectively. The mean shift and angle between planned and actual trajectories were 1.6 ± 1.9 mm and 3.9 ± 4.7°, respectively. The mean difference between the localization error at the target and entry point was 3.9 ± 3.7 mm. The mean difference between the target localization error and the reported navigation system error was 4.9 ± 4.8 mm.


The catheter localization errors have significant variations at the target and along the insertion trajectory. Trajectory errors may differ significantly from the errors at the target. Moreover, the single registration error number reported by the navigation system does not appropriately reflect the trajectory and target errors and thus should be used with caution to assess the procedure risk.

Authors: Reuben R Shamir, Leo Joskowicz, Sergey Spektor, Yigal Shoshan
Year of publication: 2011
Journal: Operative Neurosurgery, Volume 68, Issue suppl_1, Pages ons95–ons102

Link to publication:


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