Simultaneous image-guided and endoscopic navigation without rigid cranial fixation: Application in infants: Technical case report

Francesco T. Mangano, David D. Limbrick, Jeffrey R. Leonard, Sung Park Tae, Matthew D. Smyth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE AND IMPORTANCE: Infants and young children demonstrate a variety of intraventricular and periventricular lesions. Endoscopy has proven useful in the treatment of many of these lesions, but its benefit is limited if it is applied to complex loculated cysts or if the disease is concealed by normal ependymal boundaries. In adults and older children, endoscopy can be augmented by the simultaneous use of frameless stereotaxy, but this combined modality has not been possible in infants and young children without rigid cranial fixation. We describe a method of achieving simultaneous stereotactic and endoscopic navigation in infants and young children by using a pinless, frameless stereotactic assembly. CLINICAL PRESENTATION: The first patient was a 6-week-old boy with macrocephaly and a bulging fontanelle. Computed tomographic and magnetic resonance imaging revealed a complex arachnoid cyst and obstructive hydrocephalus. The second patient was a 7-month-old, ex-premature (27-wk gestational age) boy who developed posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus. He underwent multiple shunt revisions, one of which was complicated by enterococcal ventriculitis. Despite bilateral ventriculoperitoneal shunts, he developed increasing head circumference, listlessness, and irritability. Imaging revealed an enlarged, multiloculated, and asymmetric ventricular system. INTERVENTION: Simultaneous image-guided and endoscopic neuronavigation was implemented in both patients. Before the procedure, a cranial reference arc was secured to the outer table of the cranium through a small incision adjacent to the operative field. After the stereotactic apparatus was registered, the software was used to plan a trajectory for the approach. A burr hole was then made, and a rigid 6-mm endoscope was inserted for direct visualization. Once advanced past the endoscopic port tip, the electromagnetic coil stylet was used to stereotactically track position and identify areas for fenestration, biopsy, and catheter insertion. CONCLUSION: Endoscopic views of complex hydrocephalus and arachnoid cysts alone are often difficult to interpret. Simultaneous image-guided and endoscopic neuronavigation may be advantageous in the management of complex cases that are anatomically related to the ventricular system in infants for whom rigid cranial fixation could lead to increased procedure-related morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)ONS-E377.a-ONS-E377.e
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Arachnoid cyst
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Intraventricular neuronavigation
  • Neuroendoscopy


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