Comparison of cadaveric and isomorphic virtual haptic simulation in temporal bone training

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Wong, Dana
Unger, Bertram
Kraut, Jay
Pisa, Justyn
Rhodes, Charlotte
Hochman, Jordan B
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Abstract Background Virtual surgery may improve learning and provides an opportunity for pre-operative surgical rehearsal. We describe a novel haptic temporal bone simulator specifically developed for multicore processing and improved visual realism. A position locking algorithm for enhanced drill-bone interaction and haptic fidelity is further employed. The simulation construct is evaluated against cadaveric education. Methods A voxel-based simulator was designed for multicore architecture employing Marching Cubes and Laplacian smoothing to perform real-time haptic and graphic rendering of virtual bone. Ten Otolaryngology trainees dissected a cadaveric temporal bone (CTB) followed by a virtual isomorphic haptic model (VM) based on derivative microCT data. Participants rated 1) physical characteristics, 2) specific anatomic constructs, 3) usefulness in skill development and 4) perceived educational value. The survey instrument employed a Likert scale (1-7). Results Residents were equivocal about the physical properties of the VM, as cortical (3.2 ± 2.0) and trabecular (2.8 ± 1.6) bone drilling character was appraised as dissimilar to CTB. Overall similarity to cadaveric training was moderate (3.5 ± 1.8). Residents generally felt the VM was beneficial in skill development, rating it highest for translabyrinthine skull-base approaches (5.2 ± 1.3). The VM was considered an effective (5.4 ± 1.5) and accurate (5.7 ± 1.4) training tool which should be integrated into resident education (5.5 ± 1.4). The VM was thought to improve performance (5.3 ± 1.8) and confidence (5.3 ± 1.9) and was highly rated for anatomic learning (6.1 ± 1.9). Conclusion Study participants found the VM to be a beneficial and effective platform for learning temporal bone anatomy and surgical techniques. They identify some concern with limited physical realism likely owing to the haptic device interface. This study is the first to compare isomorphic simulation in education. This significantly removes possible confounding features as the haptic simulation was based on derivative imaging.
Journal of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery. 2014 Oct 13;43(1):31