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Automated multiple trajectory planning algorithm for the placement of stereo-electroencephalography (SEEG) electrodes in epilepsy treatment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rachel Sparks, Gergely Zombori, Roman Rodionov, Mark Nowell, Sjoerd B. Vos, Maria A. Zuluaga, Beate Diehl, Tim Wehner, Anna Miserocchi, Andrew W. McEvoy, John S. Duncan, Sebastien Ourselin

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-136
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery
Issue number1
Early online date1 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

King's Authors


Purpose: About one-third of individuals with focal epilepsy continue to have seizures despite optimal medical management. These patients are potentially curable with neurosurgery if the epileptogenic zone (EZ) can be identified and resected. Stereo-electroencephalography (SEEG) to record epileptic activity with intracranial depth electrodes may be required to identify the EZ. Each SEEG electrode trajectory, the path between the entry on the skull and the cerebral target, must be planned carefully to avoid trauma to blood vessels and conflicts between electrodes. In current clinical practice trajectories are determined manually, typically taking 2–3 h per patient (15 min per electrode). Manual planning (MP) aims to achieve an implantation plan with good coverage of the putative EZ, an optimal spatial resolution, and 3D distribution of electrodes. Computer-assisted planning tools can reduce planning time by quantifying trajectory suitability. Methods: We present an automated multiple trajectory planning (MTP) algorithm to compute implantation plans. MTP uses dynamic programming to determine a set of plans. From this set a depth-first search algorithm finds a suitable plan. We compared our MTP algorithm to (a) MP and (b) an automated single trajectory planning (STP) algorithm on 18 patient plans containing 165 electrodes. Results: MTP changed all 165 trajectories compared to MP. Changes resulted in lower risk (122), increased grey matter sampling (99), shorter length (92), and surgically preferred entry angles (113). MTP changed 42 % (69/165) trajectories compared to STP. Every plan had between 1 to 8 (median 3.5) trajectories changed to resolve electrode conflicts, resulting in surgically preferred plans. Conclusion: MTP is computationally efficient, determining implantation plans containing 7–12 electrodes within 1 min, compared to 2–3 h for MP.

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