Superior accuracy and precision of SEEG electrode insertion with frame-based vs. frameless stereotaxy methods

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2 Scopus citations


Background: Stereotactic electroencephalography (SEEG) has largely become the preferred method for intracranial seizure localization in epileptic patients due to its low morbidity and minimally invasive approach. While robotic placement is gaining popularity, many centers continue to use manual frame-based and frameless methods for electrode insertion. However, it is unclear how these methods compare in regard to accuracy, precision, and safety. Here, we aim to compare frame-based insertion using a CRW frame (Integra®) and frameless insertion using the StealthStation™ S7 (Medtronic®) navigation system for common temporal SEEG targets. Methods: We retrospectively examined electrode targets in SEEG patients that were implanted with either frame-based or frameless methods at a level 4 epilepsy center. We focused on two commonly used targets: amygdala and hippocampal head. Stealth station software was used to merge pre-operative MR with post-operative CT images for each patient, and coordinates for each electrode tip were calculated in relation to the midcommissural point. These were compared to predetermined ideal coordinates in regard to error and directional bias. Results: A total of 81 SEEG electrodes were identified in 23 patients (40 amygdala and 41 hippocampal head). Eight of 45 electrodes (18%) placed with the frameless technique and 0 of 36 electrodes (0%) placed with the frame-based technique missed their target and were not clinically useful. The average Euclidean distance comparing actual to ideal electrode tip coordinates for frameless vs. frame-based techniques was 11.0 mm vs. 7.1 mm (p < 0.001) for the amygdala and 12.4 mm vs. 8.5 mm (p < 0.001) for the hippocampal head, respectively. There were no hemorrhages or clinical complications in either group. Conclusions: Based on this series, frame-based SEEG insertion is significantly more accurate and precise and results in more clinically useful electrode contacts, compared to frameless insertion using a navigation guidance system. This has important implications for centers not currently using robotic insertion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Frame-based stereotaxy
  • Frameless stereotaxy
  • Stereo-electroencephalography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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