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THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO1

PRACTICE ON AN AUGMENTED REALITY/HAPTIC SIMULATOR AND LIBRARY OF VIRTUAL BRAINS IMPROVES RESIDENTS' ABILITY TO PERFORM A VENTRICULOSTOMY

Simulator practice with a library of virtual brains representing a range of anatomies and difficulty levels may improve performance, potentially decreasing complications due to inexpert technique.

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Methods:

Using computed tomographic scans of actual patients, we developed a library of 15 virtual brains for the ImmersiveTouch system, a head- and hand-tracked augmented reality and haptic simulator. The virtual brains represent a range of anatomies including normal, shifted, and compressed ventricles. Neurosurgery residents participated in individual simulator practice on the library of brains including visualizing the 3-dimensional location of the catheter within the brain immediately after each insertion. Performance of participants on novel brains in the simulator and during actual surgery before and after intervention was analyzed using generalized linear mixed models.

Results:

Simulator cannulation success rates increased after intervention, and live procedure outcomes showed improvement in the rate of successful cannulation on the first pass. However, the incidence of deeper, contralateral (simulator) and third-ventricle (live) placements increased after intervention. Residents reported that simulations were realistic and helpful in improving procedural skills such as aiming the probe, sensing the pressure change when entering the ventricle, and estimating how far the catheter should be advanced within the ventricle.

Conclusions:

Simulator practice with a library of virtual brains representing a range of anatomies and difficulty levels may improve performance, potentially decreasing complications due to inexpert technique.

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