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INTRODUCTION: DBS efficacy depends on accuracy. CT-MRI fusion is established for both stereotactic registration and electrode placement verification. The desire to streamline DBS workflows, reduce operative time, and minimize patient transfers has increased interest in portable imaging modalities such as the Medtronic O-arm® and mobile CT. However, these remain expensive and bulky. 3D C-arm fluoroscopy (3DXT) units are a smaller and less costly alternative, albeit incompatible with traditional frame-based localization and without useful soft tissue resolution. We aimed to compare fusion of 3DXT and CT with pre-operative MRI to evaluate if 3DXT-MRI fusion alone is sufficient for accurate registration and reliable targeting verification. We further assess DBS targeting accuracy using a 3DXT workflow and compare radiation dosimetry between modalities. METHODS: Patients underwent robot-assisted DBS implantation using a workflow incorporating 3DXT which we describe. Two intra-operative 3DXT spins were performed for registration and accuracy verification followed by conventional CT post-operatively. Post-operative 3DXT and CT images were independently fused to the same pre-operative MRI sequence and co-ordinates generated for comparison. Registration accuracy was compared to 15 consecutive controls who underwent CT-based registration. Radial targeting accuracy was calculated and radiation dosimetry recorded. RESULTS: Data were obtained from 29 leads in 15 consecutive patients. 3DXT registration accuracy was significantly superior to CT with mean error 0.22 ± 0.03 mm (p < 0.0001). Mean Euclidean electrode tip position variation for CT to MRI versus 3DXT to MRI fusion was 0.62 ± 0.40 mm (range 0.0 mm-1.7 mm). In comparison, direct CT to 3DXT fusion showed electrode tip Euclidean variance of 0.23 ± 0.09 mm. Mean radial targeting accuracy assessed on 3DXT was 0.97 ± 0.54 mm versus 1.15 ± 0.55 mm on CT with differences insignificant (p = 0.30). Mean patient radiation doses were around 80% lower with 3DXT versus CT (p < 0.0001). DISCUSSION: Mobile 3D C-arm fluoroscopy can be safely incorporated into DBS workflows for both registration and lead verification. For registration, the limited field of view requires the use of frameless transient fiducials and is highly accurate. For lead position verification based on MRI co-registration, we estimate there is around a 0.4 mm discrepancy between lead position seen on 3DXT versus CT when corrected for brain shift. This is similar to that described in O-arm® or mobile CT series. For units where logistical or financial considerations preclude the acquisition of a cone beam CT or mobile CT scanner, our data support portable 3D C-arm fluoroscopy as an acceptable alternative with significantly lower radiation exposure.

Original publication




Journal article


Stereotact Funct Neurosurg

Publication Date



1 - 8


3D fluoroscopy, DBS imaging, Robot-assisted DBS