Duodenal Levodopa Infusion for Long-Term Deep Brain Stimulation–Refractory Symptoms in Advanced Parkinson Disease

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This study assesses the effect of levodopa/carbidopa intestinal infusion gel (LCIIG) as an additional treatment in patients with advanced idiopathic Parkinson disease (PD) previously treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS).


Prospective study of advanced PD patients, satisfactorily treated with bilateral DBS of the subthalamic nucleus, who had developed refractory symptoms and LCIIG was added. Controls were advanced PD patients treated with LCIIG. Measurements included the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS)-III and the UPDRS axial compound.


There were 19 patients in the DBS-LCIIG therapy group and 21 in the control group. The DBS-LCIIG patients were younger and had disease duration longer than controls. The median time from DBS to gastrostomy was 7.8 years (range, 2–12 years). In both study groups, the mean scores of the UPDRS-III and UPDRS axial subscales improved significantly after LCIIG treatment (DBS-LCIIG group: UPDRS-III, 62.0 [15.7] vs 30.9 [12.1]; UPDRS axial, 24.7 [4.9] vs 10.2 [2.7]; P < 0.0005 for all comparisons). There were no differences in adverse events between the groups. In the follow-up of the DBS-LCIIG group. 5 patients discontinued DBS-LCIIG therapy and returned to DBS, 5 discontinued DBS and were maintained with LCIIG, and the remaining 9 continued with DBS-LCIIG therapy. Mean time until discontinuation in the double DBS-LCIIG group was 891 days. The main risk factors for discontinuation were age at the beginning of LCIIG and severity of the UPDRS axial subscale.


Levodopa/carbidopa intestinal infusion gel therapy may be a valuable option in selected patients with advanced PD who develop refractory symptoms after long-term subthalamic nucleus–DBS.

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