Asleep deep brain stimulation with intraoperative magnetic resonance guidance: a single-institution experience

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  • 1 Departments of Neurosurgery and
  • | 2 Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts;
  • | 3 Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois; and
  • | 4 Department of Neurosurgery, UCLA, Los Angeles, California
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OBJECTIVE

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is traditionally performed on an awake patient with intraoperative recordings and test stimulation. DBS performed under general anesthesia with intraoperative MRI (iMRI) has demonstrated high target accuracy, reduced operative time, direct confirmation of target placement, and the ability to place electrodes without cessation of medications. The authors describe their initial experience with using iMRI to perform asleep DBS and discuss the procedural and radiological outcomes of this procedure.

METHODS

All DBS electrodes were implanted under general anesthesia by a single surgeon by using a neuronavigation system with 3-T iMRI guidance. Clinical outcomes, operative duration, complications, and accuracy were retrospectively analyzed.

RESULTS

In total, 103 patients treated from 2015 to 2019 were included, and all but 1 patient underwent bilateral implantation. Indications included Parkinson’s disease (PD) (65% of patients), essential tremor (ET) (29%), dystonia (5%), and refractory epilepsy (1%). Targets included the globus pallidus pars internus (12.62% of patients), subthalamic nucleus (56.31%), ventral intermedius nucleus of the thalamus (30%), and anterior nucleus of the thalamus (1%). Technically accurate lead placement (radial error ≤ 1 mm) was obtained for 98% of leads, with a mean (95% CI) radial error of 0.50 (0.46–0.54) mm; all leads were placed with a single pass. Predicted radial error was an excellent predictor of real radial error, underestimating real error by only a mean (95% CI) of 0.16 (0.12–0.20) mm. Accuracy remained high irrespective of surgeon experience, but procedure time decreased significantly with increasing institutional and surgeon experience (p = 0.007), with a mean procedure duration of 3.65 hours. Complications included 1 case of intracranial hemorrhage (asymptomatic) and 1 case of venous infarction (symptomatic), and 2 patients had infection at the internal pulse generator site. The mean ± SD voltage was 2.92 ± 0.83 V bilaterally at 1-year follow-up. Analysis of long-term clinical efficacy demonstrated consistent postoperative improvement in clinical symptoms, as well as decreased drug doses across all indications and follow-up time points, including mean decrease in levodopa-equivalent daily dose by 53.57% (p < 0.0001) in PD patients and mean decrease in primidone dose by 61.33% (p < 0.032) in ET patients at 1-year follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

A total of 205 leads were placed in 103 patients by a single surgeon under iMRI guidance with few operative complications. Operative time trended downward with increasing institutional experience, and technical accuracy of radiographic lead placement was consistently high. Asleep DBS implantation with iMRI appears to be a safe and effective alternative to standard awake procedures.

ABBREVIATIONS

AMIGO = Advanced Multimodality Image Guided Operative; ANT = anterior nucleus of the thalamus; BWH = Brigham and Women’s Hospital; DBS = deep brain stimulation; ET = essential tremor; GPi = globus pallidus pars interna; iMRI = intraoperative MRI; IPG = internal pulse generator; LEDD = levodopa-equivalent daily dose; LOWESS = locally weighted scatterplot smoothing; MER = microelectrode recording; PD = Parkinson’s disease; STN = subthalamic nucleus; UPDRS = Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale; VIM = ventral intermediate nucleus.

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