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Neurosurgery. 2000 Aug;47(2):295-304; discussion 304-5.

Predictors in the treatment of difficult-to-control seizures by electrical stimulation of the centromedian thalamic nucleus.

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Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery Unit, General Hospital of México, México City.



To evaluate the efficacy of chronic electrical stimulation of centromedian thalamic nuclei (ESCM) in the treatment of difficult-to-control seizures.


Thirteen patients underwent ESCM for periods ranging from 12 to 94 months (mean, 41.2 mo) with electrodes stereotactically placed in both centromedian nuclei and connected to internalized stimulation systems. Electrode placement was guided by ventriculography and confirmed with magnetic resonance imaging before stimulation systems were internalized. Anatomic and electrophysiological confirmation of the electrodes' position was accomplished by plotting electrode position on anatomic sections of Schaltenbrand and Bailey's atlas, and testing cortical recruiting responses and electroencephalogram desynchronization elicited by acute low- or high-frequency stimulation, respectively.


Improvement was highly significant for generalized tonicoclonic seizures and atypical absences. Better results were obtained for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. These results were accompanied by a significant decrease in generalized spike-wave and secondary synchronous discharges, as well as focal spikes in the frontal regions. In contrast, ESCM reduced neither complex partial seizures nor focal spikes in temporal regions. Outcomes using ESCM for generalized epilepsy were better in patients in whom anatomic and electrophysiological confirmation of electrode placement was correct than in those in whom the target was missed bilaterally (P < 0.001). The effect was sustained during the observation period and was better for longer-term than for shorter-term stimulation periods.


ESCM is an efficient and safe procedure for controlling certain seizure types, if patient selection and stereotactic placement are satisfactory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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