Effect of Anesthesia on Microelectrode Recordings during Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery in Tourette Syndrome Patients

Michael J. Bos*, Ana Maria Alzate Sanchez, Anouk Y. J. M. Smeets, Raffaella Bancone, Linda Ackermans, Anthony R. Absalom, Wolfgang F. Buhre, Mark J. Roberts, Marcus L. F. Janssen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an accepted treatment for patients with medication-resistant Tourette syndrome (TS). Sedation is commonly required during electrode implantation to attenuate anxiety, pain, and severe tics. Anesthetic agents potentially impair the quality of microelectrode recordings (MER). Little is known about the effect of these anesthetics on MER in patients with TS. We describe our experience with different sedative regimens on MER and tic severity in patients with TS. Methods: The clinical records of all TS patients who underwent DBS surgery between 2010 and 2018 were reviewed. Demographic data, stimulation targets, anesthetic agents, perioperative complications, and MER from each hemisphere were collected and analyzed. Single-unit activity was identified by filtering spiking activity from broadband MER data and principal component analysis with K-means clustering. Vocal and motor tics which caused artifacts in the MER data were manually selected using visual and auditory inspection. Results: Six patients underwent bilateral DBS electrode implantation. In all patients, the target was the anterior internal globus pallidus. Patient comfort and hemodynamic and respiratory stability were maintained with conscious sedation with one or more of the following anesthetic drugs: propofol, midazolam, remifentanil, clonidine, and dexmedetomidine. Good quality MER and clinical testing were obtained in 9 hemispheres of 6 patients. In 3 patients, MER quality was poor on one side. Conclusion: Cautiously applied sedative drugs can provide patient comfort, hemodynamic and respiratory stability, and suppress severe tics, with minimal interference with MER. (C) 2019 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-231
Number of pages7
JournalStereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Anesthesia
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Internal globus pallidus
  • Microelectrode recordings
  • Tourette syndrome
  • GABA

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