Compulsive skin-picking behavior after deep brain stimulation in a patient with refractory obsessive–compulsive disorder: A case report

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The therapeutic effect of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for refractory obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) has been studied, but complications after this treatment have rarely been noted.

Patient Concerns:

A 28-year-old man with treatment-resistant OCD received bilateral ventral capsule/ventral striatum stimulation for 12 months.


Compulsive skin-picking behavior and infection were noted following 12-month DBS treatment.


We removed the implanted right-side pulse generator.


The local inflammation and skin-picking behavior gradually improved. The stimulator device was re-implanted 4 months later.


We suggest that patients with the OC spectrum should be evaluated for skin-picking behaviors during presurgical and postsurgical follow-up to reduce the infection and device removal rates.

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