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Paul S. Larson and Steven W. Cheung

The authors report on a case of tinnitus suppression following deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson disease. A perioperative focal vascular injury to area LC, a locus of the caudate at the junction of the head and body of the caudate nucleus, is believed to be the neuroanatomical correlate.

A 56-year-old woman underwent surgery for implantation of a DBS lead in the subthalamic nucleus to treat medically refractory motor symptoms. She had comorbid tinnitus localized to both ears. The lead trajectory was adjacent to area LC. Shortly after surgery, she reported tinnitus suppression in both ears. Postoperative MRI showed focal hyperintensity of area LC on T2-weighted images. At 18 months, tinnitus localized to the ipsilateral ear remained completely silenced, and tinnitus localized to the contralateral ear was substantially suppressed due to left area LC injury.

To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of a discrete injury to area LC that resulted in bilateral tinnitus suppression. Clinicians treating patients with DBS may wish to include auditory phantom assessment as part of the neurological evaluation.

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Paul S. Larson, Andrew Reisner, Dante J. Morassutti, Bassam Abdulhadi, and John E. Harpring

Traumatic intracranial aneurysms are rare, occurring in fewer than 1% of patients with cerebral aneurysms. They can occur following blunt or penetrating head trauma and are more common in the pediatric population. Traumatic aneurysms can be categorized histologically as true, false, or mixed, with false aneurysms being the most common. These aneurysms can present in a variety of ways, but are typically associated with an acute episode of delayed intracranial hemorrhage with an average time from initial trauma to aneurysm hemorrhage of approximately 21 days. The mortality rate for patients harboring these aneurysms may be as high as 50%. Prompt diagnosis based on arteriography and aggressive surgical management are associated with better outcome than conservative treatment. The authors describe a classification scheme for traumatic aneurysms based on their anatomical location and conclude that 1) post-traumatic aneurysm must be considered in patients with acute neurological deterioration following closed head injury; 2) they can occur following mild closed head injury; 3) they occur more commonly in children than in adults; and 4) surgical clipping and/or endovascular occlusion is the definitive treatment.

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Derek G. Southwell, Harjus S. Birk, Paul S. Larson, Philip A. Starr, Leo P. Sugrue, and Kurtis I. Auguste

Hypothalamic hamartomas (HHs) are benign lesions that cause medically refractory seizures, behavioral disturbances, and endocrine dysfunction. Open resection of HHs does not guarantee seizure freedom and carries a relatively high risk of morbidity. Minimally invasive stereotactic laser ablation has recently been described as an effective and safe alternative for HH treatment. Prior studies have not, however, assessed HH lesion size and morphology, 2 factors that may influence treatment results and, ultimately, the generalizability of their findings. In this paper, the authors describe seizure outcomes for 5 pediatric patients who underwent laser ablation of sessile HHs. Lesions were treated using a frameless, interventional MRI-guided approach, which facilitated laser targeting to specific components of these complex lesions. The authors’ experiences in these cases substantiate prior work demonstrating the effectiveness of laser therapy for HHs, while elucidating HH complexity as a potentially important factor in laser treatment planning, and in the interpretation of early studies describing this treatment method.

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Andrew K. Chan, Alvin Y. Chan, Darryl Lau, Beata Durcanova, Catherine A. Miller, Paul S. Larson, Philip A. Starr, and Praveen V. Mummaneni

OBJECTIVE

Camptocormia is a potentially debilitating condition in the progression of Parkinson’s disease (PD). It is described as an abnormal forward flexion while standing that resolves when lying supine. Although the condition is relatively common, the underlying pathophysiology and optimal treatment strategy are unclear. In this study, the authors systematically reviewed the current surgical management strategies for camptocormia.

METHODS

PubMed was queried for primary studies involving surgical intervention for camptocormia in PD patients. Studies were excluded if they described nonsurgical interventions, provided only descriptive data, or were case reports. Secondarily, data from studies describing deep brain stimulation (DBS) to the subthalamic nuclei were extracted for potential meta-analysis. Variables showing correlation to improvement in sagittal plane bending angle (i.e., the vertical angle caused by excessive kyphosis) were subjected to formal meta-analysis.

RESULTS

The query resulted in 9 studies detailing treatment of camptocormia: 1 study described repetitive trans-spinal magnetic stimulation (rTSMS), 7 studies described DBS, and 1 study described deformity surgery. Five studies were included for meta-analysis. The total number of patients was 66. The percentage of patients with over 50% decrease in sagittal plane imbalance with DBS was 36.4%. A duration of camptocormia of 2 years or less was predictive of better outcomes (OR 4.15).

CONCLUSIONS

Surgical options include transient, external spinal stimulation; DBS targeting the subthalamic nuclei; and spinal deformity surgery. Benefit from DBS stimulation was inconsistent. Spine surgery corrected spinal imbalance but was associated with a high complication rate.

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Editorial

Deep brain stimulation for Parkinson disease

Andres M. Lozano

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Philip A. Starr, Alastair J. Martin, Jill L. Ostrem, Pekka Talke, Nadja Levesque, and Paul S. Larson

Object

The authors discuss their method for placement of deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrodes using interventional MR (iMR) imaging and report on the accuracy of the technique, its initial clinical efficacy, and associated complications in a consecutive series of subthalamic nucleus (STN) DBS implants to treat Parkinson disease (PD).

Methods

A skull-mounted aiming device (Medtronic NexFrame) was used in conjunction with real-time MR imaging (Philips Intera 1.5T). Preoperative imaging, DBS implantation, and postimplantation MR imaging were integrated into a single procedure performed with the patient in a state of general anesthesia. Accuracy of implantation was assessed using 2 types of measurements: the “radial error,” defined as the scalar distance between the location of the intended target and the actual location of the guidance sheath in the axial plane 4 mm inferior to the commissures, and the “tip error,” defined as the vector distance between the expected anterior commissure–posterior commissure (AC-PC) coordinates of the permanent DBS lead tip and the actual AC-PC coordinates of the lead tip. Clinical outcome was assessed using the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale part III (UPDRS III), in the off-medication state.

Results

Twenty-nine patients with PD underwent iMR imaging–guided placement of 53 DBS electrodes into the STN. The mean (± SD) radial error was 1.2 ± 0.65 mm, and the mean absolute tip error was 2.2 ± 0.92 mm. The tip error was significantly smaller than for STN DBS electrodes implanted using traditional frame-based stereotaxy (3.1 ± 1.41 mm). Eighty-seven percent of leads were placed with a single brain penetration. No hematomas were visible on MR images. Two device infections occurred early in the series. In bilaterally implanted patients, the mean improvement on the UPDRS III at 9 months postimplantation was 60%.

Conclusions

The authors' technical approach to placement of DBS electrodes adapts the procedure to a standard configuration 1.5-T diagnostic MR imaging scanner in a radiology suite. This method simplifies DBS implantation by eliminating the use of the traditional stereotactic frame and the subsequent requirement for registration of the brain in stereotactic space and the need for physiological recording and patient cooperation. This method has improved accuracy compared with that of anatomical guidance using standard frame-based stereotaxy in conjunction with preoperative MR imaging.

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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.