Human fetal striatal transplantation in huntington's disease: a refinement of the stereotactic procedure

Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2008;86(5):308-13. doi: 10.1159/000155233. Epub 2008 Sep 15.


Background: Human fetal striatal transplantation (HFST) is an experimental stereotactic intervention in the treatment of Huntington's disease (HD). This procedure has proved feasible, safe, well tolerated and it offers a potential strategy for brain repair in HD patients. Target areas are the nucleus caudatus caput (NCc) and the precommissural and postcommissural putamen (Pu). A suboptimal spatial distribution of grafts was frequently reported, especially for the postcommissural Pu, because of striatal atrophy and the concurrent ventricular frontal horn enlargement. An improvement of the stereotactic procedure aimed to optimize the intrastriatal placement of grafts is therefore considered a timely issue.

Methods: Eight consecutive HD patients underwent bilateral HFST. For the first 6 procedures (first group) we performed both caudate and putaminal tracks through a single frontal entry point. For the following 10 procedures (second group), we adopted two completely distinct routes, with two separate entry points, for NCc and Pu tracks. The average number of stereotactic tracks and the average infused volume of tissue suspension were compared between the two groups.

Results: The average number of putaminal tracks and the average infused volume of suspension were significantly higher in the second group.

Conclusion: Adopting two separate routes for caudate and putaminal trajectories allowed us to achieve a larger amount of fetal tissue deposits and a better spatial distribution of grafts.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Atrophy
  • Female
  • Fetal Tissue Transplantation / methods*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Huntington Disease / pathology
  • Huntington Disease / surgery*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neostriatum / pathology
  • Neostriatum / transplantation*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods*
  • Stereotaxic Techniques*