Comparison of Ferromagnetic Induction and Bipolar Electrosurgery and Suction in Corticotomies in Pig Cerebrum


Authors: Christian A. Bowers, Greg Burns, Karen Salzman, Lawrence McGill, Joel D. MacDonaldBSN

First Published: April, 2015


Introduction. The effects of newer energy-based surgical dissection and coagulation modalities on cerebral tissue have not been investigated. Several instruments have been developed to address the limitations of traditional electrosurgical instruments in the nervous system. We compared the effects of standard bipolar electrocautery and suction (BPS) with those of a new ferromagnetic induction (FMI) device in corticotomies of pig cerebral tissue as assessed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and histological analysis.

Methods. Three adult pigs underwent bilateral corticotomies (3 cm long × 1 cm deep) using both FMI and BPS. The acute cerebral tissue edema created by each method was measured on coronal volumetric T2-weighted MRI sequences immediately after surgery. A lateral thermal “damage index” was calculated by dividing the width of the visible T2 tissue edema by the measured depth. The radiographic damage indices with each method were compared statistically. Histological analysis of each incision was conducted to compare the extent of tissue damage.

Results. MRI showed that the mean radiographic damage index of each corticotomy was significantly lower with the FMI (0.30 ± 0.02 (0.28–0.32)) than with the BPS method (0.54 ± 0.11 (0.42–0.64)) (p = 0.02). Histological analysis suggested a correlation with the radiographic findings as the FMI tissue samples demonstrated less adjacent tissue damage than BPS.

Conclusions. FMI appeared to cause less adjacent tissue damage than the BPS method in pig cerebral tissue based on quantitative radiographic and qualitative histological analysis. Future studies are needed to investigate the clinical implications of energy-based surgical dissection on cerebral tissue.