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Original research
Accuracy of image-guided percutaneous injection into a phantom spinal cord utilizing flat panel detector CT with MR fusion and integrated navigational software


Purpose To evaluate the accuracy of percutaneous fluoroscopic injection into the spinal cord of a spine phantom utilizing integrated navigational guidance from fused flat panel detector CT (FDCT) and MR datasets. Conventional and convection-enhanced delivery (CED) techniques were evaluated.

Materials and methods FDCT and MR datasets of a swine thoracic spine phantom were co-registered using an integrated guidance system and surface to spinal cord target trajectory planning was performed on the fused images. Under real-time fluoroscopic guidance with pre-planned trajectory overlay, spinal cord targets were accessed via a coaxial technique. Final needle tip position was compared with a pre-determined target on 10 independent passes. In a subset of cases, contrast was injected into the central spinal cord with a 25G spinal needle or customized 200 µm inner diameter step design cannula for CED.

Results Average needle tip deviation from target measured 0.92±0.5 mm in the transverse, 0.47±0.4 mm in the anterior-posterior, and 1.67±1.2 mm in the craniocaudal dimension for an absolute distance error of 2.12±1.12 mm. CED resulted in elliptical intramedullary diffusion of contrast compared with primary reflux observed with standard needle injection.

Conclusions These phantom feasibility data demonstrate a minimally invasive percutaneous approach for targeted injection into the spinal cord utilizing real-time fluoroscopy aided by overlay trajectories derived from fused MRI and FDCT data sets with a target error of 2.1 mm. Intramedullary diffusion of injectate in the spinal cord is facilitated with CED compared with standard injection technique. Pre-clinical studies in large animal models are warranted.

  • CT
  • intervention
  • MRI
  • navigation
  • spine

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