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Neurosurgery. 2002 May;50(5):1043-9; discussion 1049-52.

Magnetic resonance imaging-guided stereotactic limbic leukotomy for treatment of intractable psychiatric disease.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the efficacy and complication rates of magnetic resonance imaging-guided stereotactic limbic leukotomy for the treatment of intractable major depressive disorder (MDD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

METHODS:

We conducted preoperative evaluations and postoperative follow-up assessments of efficacy and complications for 21 patients who underwent limbic leukotomy. Efficacy was based on physician- and patient-rated global assessments of functioning, as well as evaluations using disease-specific rating scales commonly used in studies of MDD and OCD.

RESULTS:

The mean time from limbic leukotomy to follow-up assessment was 26 months. On the basis of standard outcome measures, 36 to 50% of patients were considered to be treatment responders. Although permanent surgical morbidity was rare, there were reports of postoperative sequelae, including apathy, urinary incontinence, and memory complaints, which occurred in a substantial minority of cases.

CONCLUSION:

For this cohort of 21 patients with chronic severe MDD or OCD, who had experienced failure with an exhaustive array of previous treatments, limbic leukotomy was associated with substantial benefit for 36 to 50%. This rate is comparable to those of previous studies of limbic system surgery and indicates that limbic leukotomy is a feasible treatment option for severe, treatment-refractory MDD or OCD. Adverse consequences associated with the procedure included affective, cognitive, and visceromotor sequelae, which were generally transient.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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