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J Neurosurg. 2005 Jan;102(1):53-9.

Long-term deep brain stimulation in elderly patients with cardiac pacemakers.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital, Mannheim, Germany.

Abstract

OBJECT:

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has become an accepted therapy for movement disorders such as Parkinson disease (PD) and essential tremor (ET), when these conditions are refractory to medical treatment. The presence of a cardiac pacemaker is still considered a contraindication for DBS in functional neurosurgery. The goal of this study was to evaluate the technical and clinical management of DBS for the treatment of movement disorders in elderly patients with cardiac pacemakers.

METHODS:

Six patients with cardiac pacemakers underwent clinical and cardiac examinations to analyze the safety of DBS in the treatment of movement disorders. Four patients suffered from advanced PD and two patients had ET. The mean age of these patients at surgery was 69.5 years (range 63-79 years). The settings of the pacemakers were programmed in a manner considered to minimize the chance of interference between the two systems. There were no adverse events during surgery. Four patients underwent stimulation of the thalamic ventralis intermedius nucleus (VIM), and two patients stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus. In general, bipolar sensing was chosen for the cardiac pacemakers. In all but one patient the quadripolar DBS electrodes were programmed for bipolar stimulation. Several control electrocardiography studies, including 24-hour monitoring, did not show any interference between the two systems. At the time this paper was written the patients had been followed up for a mean of 25.3 months (range 4-48 months).

CONCLUSIONS:

In certain conditions it is safe for patients with cardiac pacemakers to receive DBS for treatment of concomitant movement disorders. Cardiac pacemakers should not be viewed as a general contraindication for DBS in patients with movement disorders.

PMID:
15658096
DOI:
10.3171/jns.2005.102.1.0053
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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