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Alastair J. Martin, Paul S. Larson, Nathan Ziman, Nadja Levesque, Monica Volz, Jill L. Ostrem and Philip A. Starr

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to assess the incidence of postoperative hardware infection following interventional (i)MRI–guided implantation of deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrodes in a diagnostic MRI scanner.

METHODS

A diagnostic 1.5-T MRI scanner was used over a 10-year period to implant DBS electrodes for movement disorders. The MRI suite did not meet operating room standards with respect to airflow and air filtration but was prepared and used with conventional sterile procedures by an experienced surgical team. Deep brain stimulation leads were implanted while the patient was in the magnet, and patients returned 1–3 weeks later to undergo placement of the implantable pulse generator (IPG) and extender wire in a conventional operating room. Surgical site infections requiring the removal of part or all of the DBS system within 6 months of implantation were scored as postoperative hardware infections in a prospective database.

RESULTS

During the 10-year study period, the authors performed 164 iMRI-guided surgical procedures in which 272 electrodes were implanted. Patients ranged in age from 7 to 78 years, and an overall infection rate of 3.6% was found. Bacterial cultures indicated Staphylococcus epidermis (3 cases), methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (2 cases), or Propionibacterium sp. (1 case). A change in sterile practice occurred after the first 10 patients, leading to a reduction in the infection rate to 2.6% (4 cases in 154 procedures) over the remainder of the procedures. Of the 4 infections in this patient subset, all occurred at the IPG site.

CONCLUSIONS

Interventional MRI–guided DBS implantation can be performed in a diagnostic MRI suite with an infection risk comparable to that reported for traditional surgical placement techniques provided that sterile procedures, similar to those used in a regular operating room, are practiced.

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Jill L. Ostrem, Nathan Ziman, Nicholas B. Galifianakis, Philip A. Starr, Marta San Luciano, Maya Katz, Caroline A. Racine, Alastair J. Martin, Leslie C. Markun and Paul S. Larson

OBJECT

The ClearPoint real-time interventional MRI-guided methodology for deep brain stimulation (DBS) lead placement may offer advantages to frame-based approaches and allow accurate implantation under general anesthesia. In this study, the authors assessed the safety and efficacy of DBS in Parkinson’s disease (PD) using this surgical method.

METHODS

This was a prospective single-center study of bilateral DBS therapy in patients with advanced PD and motor fluctuations. Symptom severity was evaluated at baseline and 12 months postimplantation using the change in Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) Part III “off” medication score as the primary outcome variable.

RESULTS

Twenty-six PD patients (15 men and 11 women) were enrolled from 2010 to 2013. Twenty patients were followed for 12 months (16 with a subthalamic nucleus target and 4 with an internal globus pallidus target). The mean UPDRS Part III “off” medication score improved from 40.75 ± 10.9 to 24.35 ± 8.8 (p = 0.001). “On” medication time without troublesome dyskinesia increased 5.2 ± 2.6 hours per day (p = 0.0002). UPDRS Parts II and IV, total UPDRS score, and dyskinesia rating scale “on” medication scores also significantly improved (p < 0.01). The mean levodopa equivalent daily dose decreased from 1072.5 ± 392 mg to 828.25 ± 492 mg (p = 0.046). No significant cognitive or mood declines were observed. A single brain penetration was used for placement of all leads, and the mean targeting error was 0.6 ± 0.3 mm. There were 3 serious adverse events (1 DBS hardware-related infection, 1 lead fracture, and 1 unrelated death).

CONCLUSIONS

DBS leads placed using the ClearPoint interventional real-time MRI-guided method resulted in highly accurate lead placement and outcomes comparable to those seen with frame-based approaches.

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Nicole C. Swann, Coralie de Hemptinne, Svjetlana Miocinovic, Salman Qasim, Jill L. Ostrem, Nicholas B. Galifianakis, Marta San Luciano, Sarah S. Wang, Nathan Ziman, Robin Taylor and Philip A. Starr

OBJECTIVE

Dysfunction of distributed neural networks underlies many brain disorders. The development of neuromodulation therapies depends on a better understanding of these networks. Invasive human brain recordings have a favorable temporal and spatial resolution for the analysis of network phenomena but have generally been limited to acute intraoperative recording or short-term recording through temporarily externalized leads. Here, the authors describe their initial experience with an investigational, first-generation, totally implantable, bidirectional neural interface that allows both continuous therapeutic stimulation and recording of field potentials at multiple sites in a neural network.

METHODS

Under a physician-sponsored US Food and Drug Administration investigational device exemption, 5 patients with Parkinson's disease were implanted with the Activa PC+S system (Medtronic Inc.). The device was attached to a quadripolar lead placed in the subdural space over motor cortex, for electrocorticography potential recordings, and to a quadripolar lead in the subthalamic nucleus (STN), for both therapeutic stimulation and recording of local field potentials. Recordings from the brain of each patient were performed at multiple time points over a 1-year period.

RESULTS

There were no serious surgical complications or interruptions in deep brain stimulation therapy. Signals in both the cortex and the STN were relatively stable over time, despite a gradual increase in electrode impedance. Canonical movement-related changes in specific frequency bands in the motor cortex were identified in most but not all recordings.

CONCLUSIONS

The acquisition of chronic multisite field potentials in humans is feasible. The device performance characteristics described here may inform the design of the next generation of totally implantable neural interfaces. This research tool provides a platform for translating discoveries in brain network dynamics to improved neurostimulation paradigms.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01934296 (clinicaltrials.gov)