Unilateral radiofrequency lesion versus electrostimulation of posteroventral pallidum: a prospective randomized comparison

Mov Disord. 1999 Jan;14(1):50-6. doi: 10.1002/1531-8257(199901)14:1<50::aid-mds1010>3.0.co;2-6.


Microelectrode-guided posteroventral pallidotomy (PVP) has shown to be an effective method in the treatment of a group of patients with advanced Parkinson's disease. A nonlesioning approach by means of deep brain electrodes connected to a programmable neuropacemaker has also been used to inhibit the internal segment of globus pallidus (posteroventral stimulation [PVS]) reporting comparable clinical efficacy to the one obtained with the ablative method. Nevertheless, no controlled studies have been performed to compare the efficacy of both procedures. A prospective series of 13 patients with a clinical indication for globus pallidus surgery was randomized either to a pallidotomy or stimulator implantation, and comparisons on motor and neuropsychologic measurements were made on a 3-month follow-up basis. Primary measurements of efficacy showed a comparable effect on Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale and activities of daily living score after both procedures. Secondary measurements of efficacy showed that although both techniques improve hand tapping score and dyskinesia score, the bilateral improvement in the former was greater after PVS whereas the latter improved more significantly after PVP. No significant changes in neuropsychologic parameters were observed after either PVP or PVS. Side effects and surgery complications occurred in six of 13 patients (three after PVP and three after PVS): they were mild, transient, and unrelated to optic tract injury. In conclusion, the short-time effect and safety of both procedures is comparable.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Electrosurgery*
  • Female
  • Globus Pallidus / physiopathology
  • Globus Pallidus / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microelectrodes*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology
  • Parkinson Disease / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychosurgery*
  • Treatment Outcome