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Performance Comparison of Augmented Reality Versus Ultrasound Guidance for Puncture: A Phantom Study.

PURPOSE: Augmented reality (AR) is an innovative approach that could assist percutaneous procedures; by directly seeing "through" a phantom, targeting a lesion might be more intuitive than using ultrasound (US). The objective of this study was to compare the performance of experienced interventional radiologists and operators untrained in soft tissue lesion puncture using AR guidance and standard US guidance.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Three trained interventional radiologists with 5-10 years of experience and three untrained operators performed punctures of five targets in an abdominal phantom, with US guidance and AR guidance. Correct targeting, accuracy (defined as the Euclidean distance between the tip and the center of the target), planning time, and puncture time were documented.

RESULTS: Accuracy was higher for the trained group than the untrained group using US guidance (1 mm versus 4 mm, p = 0.001), but not when using AR guidance (4 mm vs. 4 mm, p = 0.76). All operators combined, no significant difference was found concerning accuracy between US and AR guidance (2 mm vs. 4 mm, p = 0.09), but planning time and puncture time were significantly shorter using AR (respectively, 15.1 s vs. 74 s, p < 0.001; 16.1 s vs. 59 s; p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Untrained and trained operators obtained comparable accuracy in percutaneous punctures when using AR guidance whereas US performance was better in the experienced group. All operators together, accuracy was similar between US and AR guidance, but shorter planning time, puncture time were found for AR guidance.

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