Technical note: the use of frameless stereotactic guidance in the treatment of peripheral intracranial aneurysms

Br J Neurosurg. 2019 Sep 22;1-5. doi: 10.1080/02688697.2019.1668539. Online ahead of print.


Frameless stereotactic guidance (FSG) has previously been reported to have advantages over intraoperative computed tomography (CT) and frame-based imaging guidance methods in the targeting of intracranial lesions. We report our experience using FSG to minimize brain dissection during microsurgical repair of peripheral aneurysms. We used FSG as a surgical adjunct in the management of 91 peripheral aneurysms. It was used to localise and avoid larger bridging veins, enabling us to minimise unnecessary brain dissection by coming directly down on the aneurysm dome in unruptured lesions or targeting the parent artery just proximal to the aneurysm in ruptured cases. We treated 72 aneurysms located on the distal ACA (79%), 7 on the PCA (7.7%), 6 on the MCA distal to the MCA bifurcation (6.6%), and 6 on the SCA (6.6%). There were no complications related to FSG use. However, we noted a tendency to create an overly limited corridor to the aneurysm, which did not allow sufficient proximal or distal control of the parent artery. In these cases, we had to widen our exposure by further opening the interhemispheric fissure to obtain more proximal control once the aneurysm was reached. Subsequently, we learned to avoid this problem by creating a slightly wider corridor during the initial exposure. Using FSG as a surgical adjunct for peripheral intracranial aneurysms allowed us to safely limit craniotomy size and brain dissection while more confidently exposing these unusually situated lesions, facilitating aneurysm clipping in our series.

Keywords: Frameless stereotactic guidance; craniotomy; peripheral aneurysms; pterional approach; subtemporal approach.