Clinical outcomes of pallidal deep brain stimulation for dystonia implanted using intraoperative MRI

Vibhash D Sharma, Yarema B Bezchlibnyk, Faical Isbaine, Kushal B Naik, Jennifer Cheng, John T Gale, Svjetlana Miocinovic, Cathrin Buetefisch, Stewart A Factor, Jon T Willie, Nicholas M Boulis, Thomas Wichmann, Mahlon R DeLong, Robert E Gross
Journal of Neurosurgery 2019 October 11, : 1-13

OBJECTIVE: Lead placement for deep brain stimulation (DBS) using intraoperative MRI (iMRI) relies solely on real-time intraoperative neuroimaging to guide electrode placement, without microelectrode recording (MER) or electrical stimulation. There is limited information, however, on outcomes after iMRI-guided DBS for dystonia. The authors evaluated clinical outcomes and targeting accuracy in patients with dystonia who underwent lead placement using an iMRI targeting platform.

METHODS: Patients with dystonia undergoing iMRI-guided lead placement in the globus pallidus pars internus (GPi) were identified. Patients with a prior ablative or MER-guided procedure were excluded from clinical outcomes analysis. Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale (BFMDRS) scores and Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale (TWSTRS) scores were assessed preoperatively and at 6 and 12 months postoperatively. Other measures analyzed include lead accuracy, complications/adverse events, and stimulation parameters.

RESULTS: A total of 60 leads were implanted in 30 patients. Stereotactic lead accuracy in the axial plane was 0.93 ± 0.12 mm from the intended target. Nineteen patients (idiopathic focal, n = 7; idiopathic segmental, n = 5; DYT1, n = 1; tardive, n = 2; other secondary, n = 4) were included in clinical outcomes analysis. The mean improvement in BFMDRS score was 51.9% ± 9.7% at 6 months and 63.4% ± 8.0% at 1 year. TWSTRS scores in patients with predominant cervical dystonia (n = 13) improved by 53.3% ± 10.5% at 6 months and 67.6% ± 9.0% at 1 year. Serious complications occurred in 6 patients (20%), involving 8 of 60 implanted leads (13.3%). The rate of serious complications across all patients undergoing iMRI-guided DBS at the authors' institution was further reviewed, including an additional 53 patients undergoing GPi-DBS for Parkinson disease. In this expanded cohort, serious complications occurred in 11 patients (13.3%) involving 15 leads (10.1%).

CONCLUSIONS: Intraoperative MRI-guided lead placement in patients with dystonia showed improvement in clinical outcomes comparable to previously reported results using awake MER-guided lead placement. The accuracy of lead placement was high, and the procedure was well tolerated in the majority of patients. However, a number of patients experienced serious adverse events that were attributable to the introduction of a novel technique into a busy neurosurgical practice, and which led to the revision of protocols, product inserts, and on-site training.

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