Navigation-linked heads-up display in intracranial surgery: Early experience

Justin R. Mascitelli, Leslie Schlachter, Alexander G. Chartrain, Holly Oemke, Jeffrey Gilligan, Anthony B. Costa, Raj K. Shrivastava, Joshua B. Bederson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The use of intraoperative navigation during microscope cases can be limited when attention needs to be divided between the operative field and the navigation screens. Heads-up display (HUD), also referred to as augmented reality, permits visualization of navigation information during surgery workflow. OBJECTIVE: To detail our initial experience with HUD. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed patients who underwent HUD-assisted surgery from April 2016 through April 2017. All lesions were assessed for accuracy and those from the latter half of the study were assessed for utility. RESULTS: Seventy-nine patients with 84 pathologies were included. Pathologies included aneurysms (14), arteriovenous malformations (6), cavernous malformations (5), intracranial stenosis (3), meningiomas (27), metastasis (4), craniopharygniomas (4), gliomas (4), schwannomas (3), epidermoid/dermoids (3), pituitary adenomas (2) hemangioblastoma (2), choroid plexus papilloma (1), lymphoma (1), osteoblastoma (1), clival chordoma (1), cerebrospinal fluid leak (1), abscess (1), and a cerebellopontine angle Teflon granuloma (1). Fifty-nine lesions were deep and 25 were superficial. Structures identified included the lesion (81), vessels (48), and nerves/brain tissue (31). Accuracy was deemed excellent (71.4%), good (20.2%), or poor (8.3%). Deep lesions were less likely to have excellent accuracy (P = .029). HUD was used during bed/head positioning (50.0%), skin incision (17.3%), craniotomy (23.1%), dural opening (26.9%), corticectomy (13.5%), arachnoid opening (36.5%), and intracranial drilling (13.5%). HUD was deactivated at some point during the surgery in 59.6% of cases. There were no complications related to HUD use. CONCLUSION: HUD can be safely used for a wide variety of vascular and oncologic intracranial pathologies and can be utilized during multiple stages of surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-193
Number of pages10
JournalOperative Neurosurgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Augmented reality
  • Image-guided surgery
  • Neuronavigation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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