The authors describe the first reported application of a miniature, customized, one-time use, skull-mounted stereotactic frame for the implantation of depth electrodes for epilepsy monitoring.
Using a platform template, 4 skull fiducial markers were placed 1 week prior to surgery. A brain MR image and a CT scan were subsequently obtained. All planning (longitudinal trajectories into the hippocampi) was done preoperatively using personal computers in the office. No further workstation planning was necessary on the day of the operation. The StarFix microTargeting Platform system was secured to the previously implanted skull fiducial screws. Pin fixation was not required. The platform was used to identify the area of entry for the depth electrodes on the right and left sides. On each side, a 12-contact depth electrode was advanced to the depth of the targets without difficulty. A temporal craniotomy was then performed to place subdural electrodes.
The desired location of the electrodes was confirmed on postoperative imaging studies. There were no complications associated with the electrode implantation. The depth electrodes demonstrated symmetrical, robust coverage of each hippocampus, with epileptiform discharges observed bilaterally.
This first application of the StarFix platform for placing depth electrodes for epilepsy monitoring was both safe and feasible. With this technique, the patient does not need to be pinned or placed in a head holder, no imaging or computer planning is required on the day of implantation (which means there is no time pressure when the meticulous target/trajectory planning is done), and with bilateral posterior implants both bur holes can be made simultaneously. For these reasons this system may be preferable to existing methods of depth electrode implantation.