Many reports published during the past 5 years have shown evidence of the beneficial effect of posteroventral pallidotomy (PVP) in large groups of patients for up to 3 years, but none of them have compared patients who underwent surgery with a control group.
Objective: To compare the evolution of Parkinson's disease symptoms at 1-year follow-up between patients who underwent surgery and those who did not.
Material and methods: Ten patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease refractory to treatment who were included in the Core Assessment for Intracerebral Transplantation program for PVP did not undergo surgery because financial support was lacking. These patients were followed up for 1 year as if they had been operated on and were finally compared with 10 patients having similar characteristics in whom PVP had been performed during the same period of time.
Results: There were no significant differences at basal evaluation in the motor section scores of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale between those patients who underwent surgery and those who did not, but a significant reduction in Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale motor score in the group who underwent surgery at 1-year evaluation was found (P < 0.006). Dyskinesias, which was nonsignificantly different at basal evaluation, showed, at the 1-year follow-up, a significant reduction in the group who underwent surgery (P < 0.04). Scores from the subsets of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale addressing rigidity, tremor, and bradykinesia also proved significantly different at the 1-year follow-up. The slope of the line generated by the two evaluations for each group showed a negative value in the group who underwent surgery (value of -0.21) and a positive value in the group who did not (value of 0.148).
Conclusion: At the 1-year follow-up, microelectrode-guided PVP produced significant changes in patient motor status and disease progression versus a comparable group of patients who did not undergo surgery during the same period of time.