The difference between ultrasound-guided and stereotactic-guided neurosurgical procedures

Minim Invasive Neurosurg. 2000 Sep;43(3):149-52. doi: 10.1055/s-2000-8335.


We evaluate two different methods, ultrasound (US) guidance and stereotactic guidance, routinely used in our Department for navigation in various neurosurgical procedures. We have performed 53 US-guided and 101 stereotactic-guided procedures. These procedures were intracranial lesion biopsies, intracranial cysts and abscesses puncture and evacuations, ventricular punctures for hydrocephalus shunt operations, stereotactic-guided microneurosurgical resections, and stereotactic-guided endoscopic operations. Advantages of the US-guided operations are the shortness of the procedure, simplicity (no need for moving patient for additional CT scanning), no irradiation and the possibility of real-time imaging. The disadvantages of the US-guided procedures are worse resolution of the images in deep-seated and small lesions as well as the need for a bigger trepanation because of the transducer's dimensions. Stereotactic procedures are time-consuming but more precise and usually done in local anaesthesia because only a small trepanation is required. Main disadvantage of the stereotactic-guided procedures when compared with the US-guided procedures is a lack of real-time intraoperative control. According to our experience, both methods are complementary and safe and they do not cause any additional complications when used as a navigation tool in microneurosurgical operations. Both methods are highly reliable when used in properly selected patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Brain Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Diseases / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Neurosurgery / methods*
  • Stereotaxic Techniques*
  • Ultrasonography*