Comparison of atlas- and magnetic resonance imaging—based stereotactic targeting of the globus pallidus internus in the performance of deep brain stimulation for the treatment of dystonia

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  • 1 Departments of Pediatric Neurosurgery (Research Group on Movement Disorders in Children) and Biostatistics, University Hospital, Montpellier, France
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Object. To assess the validity of relying on atlases during stereotactic neurosurgery, the authors compared target coordinates in the globus pallidus internus (GPi) obtained using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with those determined using an atlas. The targets were used in deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of generalized dystonia.

Methods. Thirty-five patients, who were treated using bilateral DBS of the GPi, were included in this study. The target was selected on three-dimensional MR images by direct visual recognition of the GPi. The coordinates were automatically recorded using dedicated software. They were translated into the anterior commissure—posterior commissure (AC—PC) coordinate system by using a matrix transformation process. The same GPi target was defined, based on the locations of brain structures shown in the atlases of Schaltenbrand and Talairach. Magnetic resonance imaging—based GPi target coordinates were statistically compared with the corresponding atlas-based coordinates by applying the Student t-test.

A significant difference (p < 0.001) was demonstrated in x, y, and z directions between MR imaging—based and Schaltenbrand atlas—derived target coordinates. The comparison with normalized Talairach atlas coordinates demonstrated a significant difference (p < 0.01) in the y and z directions, although not in the x direction (p = 0.12).

No significant correlation existed between MR imaging—based target coordinates and patient age (p > 0.1). No significant correlation was observed between MR imaging—based target coordinates and patient sex in the y and z directions (p > 0.9), although it was significant in the x direction (p < 0.05). A significant variation in coordinates and the length of the AC—PC line was revealed only in the y direction (p < 0.005).

Conclusions. A significant difference was found between target coordinates obtained by direct visual targeting on MR images (validated by postoperative clinical results) and those obtained by indirect targeting based on atlases.

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