Postoperative displacement of deep brain stimulation electrodes related to lead-anchoring technique

M. Fiorella Contarino*, Maarten Bot, Johannes D. Speelman, Rob M.A. De Bie, Marina A. Tijssen, Damiaan Denys, Lo J. Bour, P. Richard Schuurman, Pepijn Van Den Munckhof

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND:: Displacement of deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrodes may occur after surgery, especially due to large subdural air collections, but other factors might contribute. OBJECTIVE:: To investigate factors potentially contributing to postoperative electrode displacement, in particular, different lead-anchoring techniques. METHODS:: We retrospectively analyzed 55 patients (106 electrodes) with Parkinson disease, dystonia, tremor, and obsessive-compulsive disorder in whom early postoperative and long-term follow-up computed tomography (CT) was performed. Electrodes were anchored with a titanium microplate or with a commercially available plastic cap system. Two independent examiners determined the stereotactic coordinates of the deepest DBS contact on early postoperative and long-term follow-up CT. The influence of age, surgery duration, subdural air volume, use of microrecordings, fixation method, follow-up time, and side operated on first was assessed. RESULTS:: Subdural air collections measured on average 4.3 ± 6.2 cm. Three-dimensional (3-D) electrode displacement and displacement in the X, Y, and Z axes significantly correlated only with the anchoring method, with larger displacement for microplate-anchored electrodes. The average 3-D displacement for microplate-anchored electrodes was 2.3 ± 2.0 mm vs 1.5 ± 0.6 mm for electrodes anchored with the plastic cap (P = .030). Fifty percent of the microplate-anchored electrodes showed 2-mm or greater (potentially relevant) 3-D displacement vs only 25% of the plastic cap-anchored electrodes (P < .01). CONCLUSION:: The commercially available plastic cap system is more efficient in preventing postoperative DBS electrode displacement than titanium microplates. A reliability analysis of the electrode fixation is warranted when alternative anchoring methods are used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-688
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Electrode displacement
  • Fixation method
  • Image coregistration
  • Microplate
  • Plastic cap anchoring system
  • Stereotactic surgery

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