Intraoperative Localization of the Subthalamic Nucleus Using Long-Latency Somatosensory Evoked Potentials

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Target localization for deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a challenging step that determines not only the correct placement of stimulation electrodes, but also influences the success of the DBS procedure as reflected in the desired clinical outcome of a patient.


We report on the feasibility of DBS target localization in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) by long-latency somatosensory evoked potentials (LL-SSEPs) (>40 msec) in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients.


Micro–macroelectrode recordings were performed intraoperatively on seven PD patients (eight STN hemispheres) who underwent DBS treatment. LL-SSEPs were elicited by ipsi- and contralateral median nerve stimulation to the wrist.


Four distinctive LL-SSEP components were elicited (“LL-complex” consisting of P80, N100, P140, and N200). The P80 appeared as the most visible and reliable intraoperative component. Localization of the “LL-complex” within the target was approved with typical microelectrode firing activity patterns, atlas visualization of recording electrodes, and postoperative CT-based visualization of final DBS electrodes.


LL-SSEPs represent a promising approach for DBS target localization in the STN, provided deeper understanding on their anesthesia effect is obtained. This approach is advantageous in that it does not require the patient's participation in an intraoperative setting.

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