INTRODUCTION: Clinical response to deep brain stimulation (DBS) strongly depends on the appropriate placement of the electrode in the targeted structure. Postoperative MRI is recognized as the gold standard to verify the DBS-electrode position in relation to the intended anatomical target. However, intraoperative computed tomography (iCT) might be a feasible alternative to MRI.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this prospective noninferiority study, we compared iCT with postoperative MRI (24-72 hours after surgery) in 29 consecutive patients undergoing placement of 58 DBS electrodes. The primary outcome was defined as the difference in Euclidean distance between lead tip coordinates as determined on both imaging modalities, using the lead tip depicted on MRI as reference. Secondary outcomes were difference in radial error and depth, as well as difference in accuracy relative to target.
RESULTS: The mean difference between the lead tips was 0.98 ± 0.49 mm (0.97 ± 0.47 mm for the left-sided electrodes and 1.00 ± 0.53 mm for the right-sided electrodes). The upper confidence interval (95% CI, 0.851 to 1.112) did not exceed the noninferiority margin established. The average radial error between lead tips was 0.74 ± 0.48 mm and the average depth error was determined to be 0.53 ± 0.40 mm. The linear Deming regression indicated a good agreement between both imaging modalities regarding accuracy relative to target.
CONCLUSIONS: Intraoperative CT is noninferior to MRI for the verification of the DBS-electrode position. CT and MRI have their specific benefits, but both should be considered equally suitable for assessing accuracy.