Featured Article

First Robotic SPECT for Minimally Invasive Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping

B. Fuerst, J. Sprung, F. Pinto, B. Frisch, et al
IEEE Trans Med Imaging vol. 35, issue 3: 830-838, March 2016

The involvement of lymph nodes in patients with early stage cervical cancer is one of the most important prognostic factors of survival. Fortunately, in up to 70% of the women surgically treated for this cancer no involvements of the lymph nodes are present. However, the radical removal of all lymph nodes is associated with a substantial treatment-related morbidity, which is significantly lower when identifying the Sentinel Lymph Nodes (SLN) and limiting the dissection to these. The first robotic SPECT for minimally invasive SLN mapping introduces intra-operative SPECT reconstruction in the surgical site taking advantage of the robot-assisted  surgical systems for flexible in-patient data acquisition. The system integrates the novel miniaturized drop-in gamma detector, which can be picked up using a da Vinci (Intuitive Surgical) tool. Advanced tracking algorithms allow for the reconstruction of a SPECT volume, which is overlaid onto the optical view to guide the surgeon towards the important sentinel lymph nodes.

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