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Marcus F. Keep, Lois Mastrofrancesco, Daniel Erdman, Brent Murphy and Lynn S. Ashby

✓ The authors present the neuroimaging, treatment planning, and radiosurgical technique for the first reported case of unilateral radiosurgical subthalamotomy, which was performed to control motor symptoms associated with advanced Parkinson disease (PD) in a patient who had undergone previous contralateral radiofrequency (RF) pallidotomy.

A 73-year-old woman with end-stage PD had undergone RF pallidotomy of the right globus pallidus with resolution of symptoms. Two years following this procedure, due to the natural progression of her disease, she suffered recurrent motor fluctuations, dyskinesia, and worsening bradykinesia of the right side. Her Parkinson's Disease Disability Rating (PDDR) score was 28. Computerized tomography and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging were used to localize the left subthalamic nucleus (STN). The patient underwent gamma knife radiosurgery—a single shot of 120 Gy was administered using the 4-mm collimator helmet.

The patient was evaluated up to 42 months after the procedure. The dyskinesia became minimal. Right-sided motor control improved as did her balance. At 3 months after treatment MR imaging demonstrated the radiosurgical lesion in the left STN. At 3.5 years postradiosurgery, she experienced minimal focal (oral) dyskinesia, no bradykinesia or rigidity, and her PDDR score was 11.

Radiosurgery of the STN in this case was safe and effective. The STN is a readily localized anatomical target with neuroimaging. Radiosurgery avoids the risks of open procedures.