PURPOSE To compare CT fluoroscopy-guided manual and CT-guided robotic positioning system (RPS)-assisted needle placement by experienced IR physicians to targets in swine liver. MATERIALS AND METHODS Manual and RPS-assisted needle placement was performed by six experienced IR physicians to four 5 mm fiducial seeds placed in swine liver (n = 6). Placement performance was assessed for placement accuracy, procedure time, number of confirmatory scans, needle manipulations, and procedure radiation dose. Intra-modality difference in performance for each physician was assessed using paired t test. Inter-physician performance variation for each modality was analyzed using Kruskal-Wallis test. RESULTS Paired comparison of manual and RPS-assisted placements to a target by the same physician indicated accuracy outcomes was not statistically different (manual: 4.53 mm; RPS: 4.66 mm; p = 0.41), but manual placement resulted in higher total radiation dose (manual: 1075.77 mGy/cm; RPS: 636.4 mGy/cm; p = 0.03), required more confirmation scans (manual: 6.6; RPS: 1.6; p < 0.0001) and needle manipulations (manual: 4.6; RPS: 0.4; p < 0.0001). Procedure time for RPS was longer than manual placement (manual: 6.12 min; RPS: 9.7 min; p = 0.0003). Comparison of inter-physician performance during manual placement indicated significant differences in the time taken to complete placements (p = 0.008) and number of repositions (p = 0.04) but not in other study measures (p > 0.05). Comparison of inter-physician performance during RPS-assisted placement suggested statistically significant differences in procedure time (p = 0.02) and not in other study measures (p > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS CT-guided RPS-assisted needle placement reduced radiation dose, number of confirmatory scans, and needle manipulations when compared to manual needle placement by experienced IR physicians, with equivalent accuracy.
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