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Immersive Virtual Reality and Ocular Tracking for Brain Mapping During Awake Surgery: Prospective Evaluation Study

Abstract : Background: Language mapping during awake brain surgery is currently a standard procedure. However, mapping is rarely performed for other cognitive functions that are important for social interaction, such as visuospatial cognition and nonverbal language, including facial expressions and eye gaze. The main reason for this omission is the lack of tasks that are fully compatible with the restrictive environment of an operating room and awake brain surgery procedures. Objective: This study aims to evaluate the feasibility and safety of a virtual reality headset equipped with an eye-tracking device that is able to promote an immersive visuospatial and social virtual reality (VR) experience for patients undergoing awake craniotomy. Methods: We recruited 15 patients with brain tumors near language or motor areas. Language mapping was performed with a naming task, DO 80, presented on a computer tablet and then in 2D and 3D via the VRH. Patients were also immersed in a visuospatial and social VR experience. Results: None of the patients experienced VR sickness, whereas 2 patients had an intraoperative focal seizure without consequence; there was no reason to attribute these seizures to virtual reality headset use. The patients were able to perform the VR tasks. Eye tracking was functional, enabling the medical team to analyze the patients' attention and exploration of the visual field of the virtual reality headset directly. Conclusions: We found that it is possible and safe to immerse the patient in an interactive virtual environment during awake brain surgery, paving the way for new VR-based brain mapping procedures. Trial registration: NCT03010943;
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 13, 2021 - 9:50:47 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 27, 2022 - 4:07:59 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, January 14, 2022 - 6:32:40 PM


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Morgane Casanova, Anne Clavreul, Gwénaëlle Soulard, Matthieu Delion, Ghislaine Aubin, et al.. Immersive Virtual Reality and Ocular Tracking for Brain Mapping During Awake Surgery: Prospective Evaluation Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, JMIR Publications, 2021, 23 (3), pp.e24373. ⟨10.2196/24373⟩. ⟨inserm-03375816⟩



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