The clinical outcome of deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery relies heavily on the implantation accuracy of a chronic stimulating electrode into a small target brain region. Most techniques that have been proposed to precisely target these deep brain regions were designed to map intracerebral electrode trajectory prior to chronic electrode placement, sometimes leading to positioning error of the final electrode. This study was designed to create a new intraoperative guidance tool for DBS neurosurgery that can improve target detection during the final implantation of the chronic electrode.
Taking advantage of diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, the authors developed a new surgical tool that senses proximal brain tissue through the tip of the chronic electrode by means of a novel stylet, which provides rigidity to DBS leads and houses fiber optics.
As a proof of concept, the authors demonstrated the ability of their noninvasive optical guidance technique to precisely locate the border of the subthalamic nucleus during the implantation of commercially available DBS electrodes in anesthetized parkinsonian monkeys. Innovative optical recordings combined to standard microelectrode mapping and detailed postmortem brain examination allowed the authors to confirm the precision of optical target detection. They also show the optical technique’s ability to detect, in real time, upcoming blood vessels, reducing the risk of hemorrhage during the chronic lead implantation.
The authors present a new optical guidance technique that can detect target brain regions during DBS surgery from within the implanted electrode using a proof of concept in nonhuman primates. The technique discriminates tissue in real time, contributes no additional invasiveness to the procedure by being housed within the electrode, and can provide complementary information to microelectrode mapping during the implantation of the chronic electrode. The technique may also be a powerful tool for providing direct anatomical information in the case of direct implantations wherein microelectrode mapping is not performed.