Electrode implantation for deep brain stimulation in dystonia: a fast spin-echo inversion-recovery sequence technique for direct stereotactic targeting of the GPI

M O Pinsker, J Volkmann, D Falk, J Herzog, K Alfke, F Steigerwald, G Deuschl, M Mehdorn
Zentralblatt Für Neurochirurgie 2008, 69 (2): 71-5

OBJECTIVE: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the globus pallidus internus (GPi) is an effective treatment for medically refractory primary dystonia. We present our technique for direct preoperative visualization of the target using a fast spin-echo inversion-recovery (FSE-IR) sequence.

METHODS: Twenty-three consecutive patients (mean age 41 years, range 9-68 years, male to female ratio 11:12) with severe dystonia were operated using a combination of FSE-IR imaging for direct visualization of the globus pallidus internus with stereotactic, gadolinium-enhanced T1-MPRage images. The complete procedure, including stereotactic MRI, was performed under general anesthesia with propofol and remifentanyl. We used multichannel microdrive systems (Medtronic; Alpha-Omega) to introduce up to five parallel microelectrodes for microelectrode recordings (MER) and test stimulation with the central trajectory directed at the anatomically predefined target. The initial standard coordinates in relation to the mid-commissural point (mid-AC-PC) were as follows: lateral 21 mm, anterior 3 mm, and inferior 2 mm, which were then adapted to the individual case based on direct visualization of the target area and further refined by the intraoperative neurophysiology.

RESULTS: In ten patients (43%) atlas-based standard coordinates were modified based on the direct visualization of the GPi in the FSE-IR images (bilaterally in seven patients, unilaterally in three). The modified targets ranged from 18.5 to 23.5 mm (mean 20.76 mm) laterally, 1-7 mm (mean 2.75 mm) anteriorly and 1-2 mm (mean 1.95 mm) inferiorly to the mid-AC-PC. We implanted the permanent electrode based on the results of MER and intraoperative stimulation performed to determine the threshold for pyramidal tract responses on the central trajectory in 67%, medially in 16%, anteriorly in 11%, laterally in 4%, dorsally in 2%. The procedure resulted in excellent clinical benefits (average reduction of the Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating Score (BFMDRS) or the Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale (TWSTRS) were respectively 65.9%, range 20.9-91.4%) within the first year after surgery. Safety was demonstrated by the absence of intracranial bleeding or other surgical complications causing neurological morbidity.

CONCLUSION: Inversion recovery sequences are an excellent tool for direct visualization of the GPi. These images can be fused to stereotactic MRI or CCT and may help to improve anatomical targeting of the GPi for the implantation of DBS electrodes.

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