Robert E. Gross, Wendy J. Lombardi, William D. Hutchison, Soni Narula, Jean A. Saint-Cyr, Jonathan O. Dostrovsky, Ronald R. Tasker, Anthony E. Lang and Andres M. Lozano
Object. To understand the factors that determine the distribution of lesions after microelectrode-guided pallidotomy for Parkinson's disease, the authors quantitatively characterized lesion location in a cohort of patients who were prospectively followed to determine the effects of pallidotomy on clinical outcome.
Methods. Thirty-three patients underwent volumetric magnetic resonance (MR) imaging after surgery to allow quantitative lesion localization in relation to conventional intraventricular landmarks and, alternatively, more anatomically relevant landmarks. The validity of the method was verified in a cohort of postpallidotomy patients who underwent concurrent volumetric and stereotactic MR imaging in an external head frame. Lesions were distributed over a considerable distance in the anteroposterior (8.8 mm) and mediolateral (8.7 mm) dimensions in relation to the anterior commissure and wall of the third ventricle, respectively. Less variation was seen in lesion location in the dorsoventral dimension (4.8 mm) in relation to the intercommissural plane.
Conclusions. Lesion distribution was not random: lesion locations in the anteroposterior and mediolateral dimensions were highly correlated, such that lesions were distributed from anteromedial to posterolateral, parallel to the border of the globus pallidus internus with the obliquely oriented internal capsule. The factors that led to variability in lesion location were variation in third ventricle width and the oblique anteromedial-to-posterolateral course of the internal capsule. This demonstration of variability of lesion location in a cohort of patients who experienced excellent clinical benefits and minimal postoperative complications emphasizes the importance of anatomical variations in determining lesion position and the need for physiological corroboration for correct lesion placement.