Comparison of intraoperative portable CT scanners in skull base and endoscopic sinus surgery: Single center case series

David B. Conley, Bruce Tan, Bernard R. Bendok, H. Hunt Batjer, Rakesh Chandra, Douglas Sidle, Rudy J. Rahme, Joseph G. Adel, Andrew J. Fishman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Precise and safe management of complex skull base lesions can be enhanced by intraoperative computed tomography (CT) scanning. Surgery in these areas requires real-time feedback of anatomic landmarks. Several portable CT scanners are currently available. We present a comparison of our clinical experience with three portable scanners in skull base and craniofacial surgery. We present clinical case series and the participants were from the Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Three scanners are studied: one conventional multidetector CT (MDCT), two digital flat panel cone-beam CT (CBCT) devices. Technical considerations, ease of use, image characteristics, and integration with image guidance are presented for each device. All three scanners provide good quality images. Intraoperative scanning can be used to update the image guidance system in real time. The conventional MDCT is unique in its ability to resolve soft tissue. The flat panel CBCT scanners generally emit lower levels of radiation and have less metal artifact effect. In this series, intraoperative CT scanning was technically feasible and deemed useful in surgical decision-making in 75% of patients. Intraoperative portable CT scanning has significant utility in complex skull base surgery. This technology informs the surgeon of the precise extent of dissection and updates intraoperative stereotactic navigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-270
Number of pages10
JournalSkull Base
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011


  • Intraoperative imaging
  • acoustic neuroma
  • meningioma
  • portable scanners
  • skull base surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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