Electrophysiologic Mapping for Target Acquisition in Deep Brain Stimulation May Become Unnecessary in the Era of Intraoperative Imaging

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OBJECTIVE: Electrophysiologic mapping (EM) has been instrumental in advancing neuroscience and ensuring accurate lead placement for deep brain stimulation. However, EM is associated with increased operative time, expense, and potential risk. Intraoperative imaging to verify lead placement provides an opportunity to reassess the clinical role of EM. We investigated whether EM 1) provides new information that corrects suboptimal preoperative target selection by the physician or 2) simply corrects intraoperative stereotactic error, which can instead be quickly corrected with intraoperative imaging. METHODS: Deep brain stimulation lead location errors were evaluated by measuring whether repositioning leads based on EM directed the final lead placement 1) away from or 2) toward the original target. We retrospectively identified 50 patients with 61 leads that required repositioning directed by EM. The stereotactic coordinates of each lead were determined with intraoperative computed tomography. RESULTS: In 45 of 61 leads (74%), the electrophysiologically directed repositioning moved the lead toward the initial target. The mean radial errors between the preoperative plan and targeted contact coordinates before and after repositioning were 2.2 and 1.5 mm, respectively (P < 0.001). Microelectrode recording was more likely than test stimulation to direct leads toward the initial target (88% vs. 63%; P = 0.03). The nucleus targeted was associated with the likelihood of moving toward the initial target. CONCLUSIONS: Electrophysiologic mapping corrected primarily for errors in lead placement rather than providing new information regarding errors in target selection. Thus, intraoperative imaging and improvements in stereotactic techniques may reduce or even eliminate dependence on EM.


Deep brain stimulation, Direct targeting, Intraoperative imaging, Microelectrode recording, Stereotactic accuracy

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Aged; Brain (diagnostic imaging, surgery); Brain Mapping (methods); Deep Brain Stimulation (methods); Electrodes, Implanted; Female; Humans; Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring (methods); Magnetic Resonance Imaging (methods); Male; Middle Aged; Prospective Studies; Retrospective Studies; Stereotaxic Techniques; Tomography, X-Ray Computed (methods)

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World neurosurgery





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