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Radiology. 2006 Apr;239(1):209-16.

Parkinson disease: pattern of functional MR imaging activation during deep brain stimulation of subthalamic nucleus--initial experience.

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  • 1Departments of Radiology, Neurology, and Neurosurgery, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Mellen Center/U-15, 9500 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.



To prospectively determine the pattern of functional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging activation at 3 T produced by deep brain stimulation (DBS) of subthalamic nucleus (STN) for treatment of Parkinson disease and to determine the safety of DBS electrode stimulation during functional MR imaging at 3 T.


Informed consent was obtained from all subjects participating in the study, and the study protocol was approved by the institutional review board at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and was HIPAA compliant. After extensive phantom safety testing of DBS lead systems, five patients (three men, two women; mean age, 49.4 years +/- 14.5 [standard deviation]; range, 31-74 years) with percutaneously extended bilateral DBS electrodes placed in the STN for treatment of Parkinson disease were examined at 3 T on the 1st or 2nd postoperative day. Imaging consisted of a three-dimensional anatomic data set with leads disconnected and a blood oxygen level-dependent functional MR image with a single lead connected to the external pulse generator in the MR imaging control room by using stimulation parameters previously determined to produce optimal stimulation for alleviation of symptoms. A total of nine leads were tested with the functional MR imaging protocol. Subjects underwent neurologic examination immediately before and after MR imaging.


All five patients completed the study without change in their neurologic examination and with activation seen in eight of nine electrodes stimulated. Activation was seen in the ipsilateral basal ganglia in all subjects and ipsilateral thalamus in six of the electrodes tested. Two of the electrode stimulations demonstrated additional activation in the STN and/or substantia nigra region adjacent to the electrode tip. For three electrode stimulations, activation was seen in the contralateral superior cerebellum.


Therapeutically effective DBS of STN can be performed safely during functional MR imaging at 3 T and produces a consistent pattern of ipsilateral activation of deep brain motor structures.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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