INTRODUCTION - Post-operative programming of deep brain stimulation for movement disorders can be both time consuming and difficult, which can delay the optimal symptom control for the patient. Probabilistic maps of stimulation response could improve programming efficiency and optimization.
METHODS - The clinically selected contacts of patients who had undergone ventral intermediate nucleus deep brain stimulation for the treatment of essential tremor at our institution were compared against contacts selected based on a probability map of symptom reduction built by populating data from a number of patients using non-rigid image registration. A subgroup of patients whose clinical contacts did not match the map-based selections prospectively underwent a tremor rating scale evaluation to compare the symptom relief achieved by the two options. Both the patient and video reviewer were blinded to the selection.
RESULTS - 54% of the map-based and clinical contacts were an exact match retrospectively and were within one contact 83% of the time. In 5 of the 8 mismatched leads that were evaluated prospectively in a double blind fashion, the map-based contact showed equivalent or better tremor improvement than the clinically active contact.
CONCLUSIONS - This study suggests that probability maps of stimulation responses can assist in selecting the clinically optimal contact and increase the efficiency of programming.
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