Object. The goal of this study was to analyze the incidence of intracranial bleeding in patients who underwent procedures guided by microelectrode recording (MER) rather than by macroelectrode stimulation alone.
Methods. Between March 1994 and July 2001, 178 patients underwent 248 functional neurosurgical procedures performed by the same team at the University of California at Los Angeles. The procedures included pallidotomy (122 patients), thalamotomy (19 patients), and implantation of deep brain stimulation electrodes in the subthalamic nucleus (36 patients), globus pallidus internus (17 patients), and ventralis intermedius nucleus (54 patients). One hundred forty-four procedures involved macroelectrode stimulation and 104 involved MER. Groups were analyzed according to the presence of arterial hypertension, MER or macroelectrode stimulation use, and occurrence of hemorrhage. Nineteen patients with arterial hypertension underwent 28 surgical procedures.
Five cases of hemorrhage (2.02%) occurred. One patient presented with hemiparesis and dysphasia but no surgery was required. The incidence of hemorrhage in patients in whom MER was performed was 2.9%, whereas the incidence in patients in whom MER was not used was 1.4% (p = 0.6529). Bleeding occurred in 10.71% of patients with hypertension and 0.91% of those who were nonhypertensive (p = 0.0111). Among the 104 patients in whom MER was performed, 12 had hypertension. Bleeding occurred in two (16.67%) of these 12 patients. An increased incidence of bleeding in hypertensive patients who underwent MER (p = 0.034) was noticed when compared with nonhypertensive patients who underwent MER. A higher number of electrode passes through the parenchyma was observed when MER was used (p = 0.0001). A positive trend between the occurrence of hemorrhage and multiple passes was noticed.
Conclusions. Based on the data the authors suggest that a higher incidence of hemorrhage occurs in hypertensive patients, and a higher incidence as well in hypertensive patients who underwent MER rather than macroeletrode stimulation. Special attention should be given to MER use in hypertensive patients and particular attention should be made to multiple passes.