gms | German Medical Science

61st Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC) as part of the Neurowoche 2010
Joint Meeting with the Brazilian Society of Neurosurgery on the 20 September 2010

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

21 - 25 September 2010, Mannheim

Does virtual reality help in constructing a more accurate mental representation than magnetic resonance images? A prospective study

Meeting Abstract

  • Axel Thomas Stadie - Neurochirurgische Klinik und Poliklinik der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, Deutschland
  • Ines Degenhardt - Abteilung Allgemeine Experimentelle Psychologie, Psychologisches Institut der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, Deutschland
  • Gerardo Conesa - Servicio de Neurocirugía, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spanien
  • Robert Reisch - Zentrum für endoskopische und minimal invasive Neurochirurgie, Hirslanden Klinik, Zürich, Schweiz
  • Ralf Alfons Kockro - Neurochirurgische Klinik Universitätsspital Zürich, Schweiz
  • Gerrit Fischer - Neurochirurgische Klinik und Poliklinik der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, Deutschland
  • Heiko Hecht - Abteilung Allgemeine Experimentelle Psychologie, Psychologisches Institut der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, Deutschland

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 61. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC) im Rahmen der Neurowoche 2010. Mannheim, 21.-25.09.2010. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2010. DocP1819

DOI: 10.3205/10dgnc290, URN: urn:nbn:de:0183-10dgnc2909

Published: September 16, 2010

© 2010 Stadie et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/deed.en). You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.


Outline

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Objective: Progress in medical imaging and refined methods of surgery planning such as Virtual Reality (VR), call for an investigation of the acquisition of three-dimensional anatomical knowledge as a crucial goal of medical education. This study compared the efficacy to reconstruct a three-dimensional arrangement of objects that was either presented as real model, as magnetic resonance images (MRI), or as VR model.

Methods: From April 2005 to June 2006 two groups, experienced neurosurgeons and medical students in their fourth year of medical education, studied a three-dimensional arrangement of water-filled plastic objects either as a real model, using a VR workstation, or by examining the MRI images. They were then asked to reconstruct the model as accurately as possible. The reconstructed models were then compared to the respective original models.

Results: The most accurate reconstructions were achieved when the participants had memorized the real model. VR visualization produced larger errors, and reconstruction accuracy based on MRI scans was worst. Neurosurgeons did not perform better than students.

Conclusions: Our results show that, compared to standard MRI scans, the accuracy of mental representation does benefit from the stereoscopic rendering of the model, which has been built from sequential MRI scans. However, best results were achieved when learning from the original model. Thus, VR is beneficial and at the same time there is room for further improvement when trying to optimize the visual basis for anatomy training and surgery planning, both for expert as well as for novice surgeons.