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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4227


VILELA FILHO, Osvaldo  and  SILVA, Délson José da. Unilateral subthalamic nucleus lesioning: a safe and effective treatment for Parkinson's disease. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 2002, vol.60, n.4, pp.935-948. ISSN 0004-282X.

The present study, the largest in the literature, was performed to assess the effectiveness and safety of unilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) lesioning for Parkinson's disease (PD). From August 1999 to September 2000, 21 consecutive patients evaluated pre- and postoperatively by a single examiner were operated. Levodopa intake and dyskinesia, Hoehn & Yahr, Schwab & England and UPDRS motor scores were recorded. Stereotactic CT and MRI and the effects of macrostimulation were used to determine STN coordinates. A single radiofrequency lesion was made (60-75ºC/60"). Concomitant ipsilateral Vim/VOp lesions were made in 8 patients. Using a new technique, we were able to determine the territory of STN involved by the surgical lesion. The Wilcoxon and Mann-Whitney statistical tests were applied to evaluate the surgical results. All recorded parameters showed stable improvement after a mean follow up of 13.5 months. Recurrence occurred in two patients. Contralateral tremor arrest and decrease of rigidity and bradykinesia should be regarded as STN hallmarks to stimulation. Hyperintense lesions in the early-phase MRI seem to be a poor prognostic factor. Lateral territory lesioning correlates with better results. There was no significant difference between the cohorts with and without a Vim/VOp lesion. Dyskinesias happened in two patients (promptly abolished by a Vim/VOp lesion). Other complications were transient and/or rare. In conclusion, STN lesioning is a safe and very effective procedure to treat PD and probably an underutilized operation for those who can not afford the costs of DBS.

Keywords : subthalamic nucleus lesioning; deep brain stimulation; stereotactic surgery; subthalamic nucleotomy; subthalamotomy; Parkinson's disease.

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