External ventricular drainage (EVD) is an emergency neurosurgical procedure to decrease intracranial pressure through a catheter mediated drainage of cerebrospinal fluid. Most EVD catheters are placed using free hands without direct visualization of the target and catheter trajectory, leading to a high rate of complications- hemorrhage, brain injury and suboptimal catheter placement. Use of stereotactic systems can prevent these complications. However, they have found limited application for this procedure due to their long set-up time and expensive hardware. Therefore, we have developed and pre-clinically validated a novel 3D printed stereotactic system for rapid and accurate implantation of EVD catheters. Its mechanical and imaging accuracies were found to be at par with clinical stereotactic systems. Preclinical trial in human cadaver specimens revealed improved targeting accuracy achieved within an acceptable time frame compared to the free hand technique. CT angiography emulated using cadaver specimen with radio-opaque vascular contrast showed vessel free catheter trajectory. This could potentially translate to reduced hemorrhage rate. Thus, our 3D printed stereotactic system offers the potential to improve the accuracy and safety of EVD catheter placement for patients without significantly increasing the procedure time.
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