BACKGROUND: A neuronavigation interface with extended function as compared with current systems was developed to aid during temporal bone surgery. The interface, named EVADE, updates the prior anatomical image and visualizes the bone drilling process virtually in real-time without need for intra-operative imaging. Furthermore, EVADE continuously calculates the distance from the drill tip to segmented temporal bone critical structures (e.g. the sigmoid sinus and facial nerve) and produces audiovisual warnings if the surgeon drills in too close vicinity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy and surgical utility of EVADE in physical phantoms.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We performed 228 measurements assessing the position accuracy of tracking a navigated drill in the operating theatre. A mean target registration error of 1.33±0.61 mm with a maximum error of 3.04 mm was found. Five neurosurgeons each drilled two temporal bone phantoms, once using EVADE, and once using a standard neuronavigation interface. While using standard neuronavigation the surgeons damaged three modeled temporal bone critical structures. No structure was hit by surgeons utilizing EVADE. Surgeons felt better orientated and thought they had improved tumor exposure with EVADE. Furthermore, we compared the distances between surface meshes of the virtual drill cavities created by EVADE to actual drill cavities: average maximum errors of 2.54±0.49 mm and -2.70±0.48 mm were found.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results demonstrate that EVADE gives accurate feedback which reduces risks of harming modeled critical structures compared to a standard neuronavigation interface during temporal bone phantom drilling.