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Krystof S. Bankiewicz, Tomasz Pasterski, Daniel Kreatsoulas, Jakub Onikijuk, Krzysztof Mozgiel, Vikas Munjal, J. Bradley Elder, Russell R. Lonser, and Mirosław Zabek


The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility, accuracy, effectiveness, and safety of an MRI-compatible frameless stereotactic ball-joint guide array (BJGA) as a platform for cannula placement and convection-enhanced delivery (CED).


The authors analyzed the clinical and imaging data from consecutive patients with aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency who underwent infusion of adeno-associated virus (AAV) containing the AADC gene (AAV2-AADC).


Eleven patients (7 females, 4 males) underwent bilateral MRI-guided BJGA cannula placement and CED of AAV2-AADC (22 brainstem infusions). The mean age at infusion was 10.5 ± 5.2 years (range 4–19 years). MRI allowed for accurate real-time planning, confirmed precise cannula placement after single-pass placement, and permitted on-the-fly adjustment. Overall, the mean bilateral depth to the target was 137.0 ± 5.2 mm (range 124.0–145.5 mm). The mean bilateral depth error was 0.9 ± 0.7 mm (range 0–2.2 mm), and the bilateral radial error was 0.9 ± 0.6 mm (range 0.1–2.3 mm). The bilateral absolute tip error was 1.4 ± 0.8 mm (range 0.4–3.0 mm). Target depth and absolute tip error were not correlated (Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, r = 0.01).


Use of the BJGA is feasible, accurate, effective, and safe for cannula placement, infusion MRI monitoring, and cannula adjustment during CED. The low-profile universal applicability of the BJGA streamlines and facilitates MRI-guided CED.