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Intraoperative Computed Tomography for Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery: Technique and Accuracy Assessment

Shahlaie, Kiarash MD, PhD; Larson, Paul S MD; Starr, Philip A MD, PhD

doi: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31820781bc
Operative Technique

BACKGROUND: The efficacy of deep brain stimulation (DBS) is highly dependent on the accuracy of lead placement.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the use of intraoperative computed tomography (iCT) to confirm lead location before surgical closure and to study the accuracy of this technique.

METHODS: Fifteen patients underwent awake microelectrode-guided DBS surgery in a stereotactic frame. A portable iCT scanner (Medtronic O-arm) was positioned around the patient's head throughout the procedure and was used to confirm lead location before fixation of the lead to the skull. Images were computationally fused with preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and lead tip coordinates with respect to the midpoint of the anterior commissure-posterior commissure line were measured. Tip coordinates were compared with those obtained from postoperative MRI.

RESULTS: iCT was integrated into standard frame-based microelectrode-guided DBS surgery with a minimal increase in surgical time or complexity. Technically adequate 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional images were obtained in all cases. Head positioning and fixation techniques that allow unobstructed imaging are described. Lead tip measurements on iCT fused with preoperative MRI were statistically indistinguishable from those obtained with postoperative MRI.

CONCLUSION: iCT can be easily incorporated into standard DBS surgery, replaces the need for C-arm fluoroscopy, and provides accurate intraoperative 3-dimensional confirmation of electrode tip locations relative to preoperative images and surgical plans. iCT fused to preoperative MRI may obviate the need for routine postoperative MRI in DBS surgery. Technical nuances that must be mastered for the efficient use of iCT during DBS implantation are described.

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, and the Parkinson's Disease Research, Education, and Care Center, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California

Received, February 3, 2010.

Accepted, August 30, 2010.

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Correspondence: Philip A. Starr, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, 533 Parnassus Ave, Box 0445, San Francisco, CA 94143. E-mail:

Copyright © by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons