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Immersing Patients in a Virtual Reality Environment for Brain Mapping During Awake Surgery: Safety Study

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Brain mapping by direct electrical stimulation during awake craniotomy is now a standard procedure that reduces the risk of permanent neurologic deficits. Virtual reality technology immerses the patient in a virtually controlled, interactive world, offering a unique opportunity to develop innovative tasks for perioperative mapping of complex cognitive functions. The objective of this prospective single-center study was to evaluate the tolerance and safety of a virtual reality headset (VRH) and immersive virtual experiences in patients undergoing awake craniotomy and brain mapping by direct electrical stimulation.METHODS: The study included 30 patients with a brain tumor near the language area. Language mapping was performed with a naming task, DO 80, presented on a digital tablet and then in two-dimensional and three-dimensional formats through a VRH. During wound closure, different virtual reality experiences were proposed to the patient, offering different types of virtual motion or interaction with an avatar piloted by a neuropsychologist.RESULTS: Two patients could not use the VRH owing to technical issues. No procedure was aborted, no patient experienced virtual reality sickness and all patients reported they would repeat the procedure. Despite a high rate of intraoperative focal seizures, there was no argument to attribute the seizures to VRH use.CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that it is possible during awake brain surgery to immerse the patient in a virtual environment and to interact with the patient, opening the field of new brain mapping procedures for complex cognitive functions.Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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https://hal.univ-angers.fr/hal-02510306
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 21, 2022 - 11:41:40 AM
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Matthieu Delion, Evelyne Klinger, Florian Bernard, Ghislaine Aubin, Aram ter Minassian, et al.. Immersing Patients in a Virtual Reality Environment for Brain Mapping During Awake Surgery: Safety Study. World Neurosurgery, Elsevier, 2020, 134, pp.e937-e943. ⟨10.1016/j.wneu.2019.11.047⟩. ⟨hal-02510306⟩

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