Pallidotomy: a survey of current practice in North America

Neurosurgery. 1996 Oct;39(4):883-90; discussion 890-2. doi: 10.1097/00006123-199610000-00060.


Twenty-eight centers completed a survey about their current practice of pallidotomy. This sample represents a non-exhaustive survey of the current practice of pallidotomy in North America and is not a study of outcomes. 1015 patients underwent 1219 pallidotomies: 811 (80%) unilateral, 72 (7%) staged bilateral, and 132 (13%) simultaneous bilateral. Pallidotomy has long been an accepted procedure and the indications for this surgery, in the opinion of the responding centers, were rated on a scale of 1 (poor) to 4 (excellent) and demonstrated dyskinesia as the best indication (median = 4); on-off fluctuations, dystonia, rigidity, and bradykinesia as good indications (median = 3); and freezing, tremor and gait disturbance as fair indications (median = 2). Most centers used MRI alone (50%) or in combination with CT scan (n = 6) or ventriculopathy (n = 5) to localize the target. The median values of pallidal coordinates were: 2 mm anterior to the midcommissural point 21 mm lateral to the midsagittal plane and 5 mm below the intercommissural line. Microrecording was performed by half of the centers (n = 14) and half of the remaining centers were considering starting it (n = 7). Main criteria used to define the target included the firing pattern of spontaneous neuronal discharges (n = 13) and the response to joint movement (n = 10). Most centers performed motor (n = 26) and visual (n = 23) macrostimulation. Twenty four centers performed test lesions using median values of 55 degrees C temperatures for 30 s. Final lesions consisted of 3 permanent lesions placed 2 mm apart, each lesion created with median values of 75 degrees C temperatures for 1 minute. Median hospital stay was 2 days.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Globus Pallidus / physiopathology
  • Globus Pallidus / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Motor Skills / physiology
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology
  • Parkinson Disease / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States