Adverse events associated with deep brain stimulation for movement disorders: Analysis of 510 consecutive cases

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND: Although numerous studies have focused on the efficacy of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for movement disorders, less is known about surgical adverse events, especially over longer time intervals. OBJECTIVE: Here, we analyze adverse events in 510 consecutive cases from a tertiary movement disorders center at up to 10 years postoperatively. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of adverse events from craniotomies between January 2003 and March 2013. The adverse events were categorized into 2 broad categories-immediate perioperative and time-dependent postoperative events. RESULTS: Across all targets, perioperative mental status change occurred in 18 (3.5%) cases, and symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage occurred in 4 (0.78%) cases. The most common hardware-related event was skin erosion in 13 (2.5%) cases. The most frequent stimulation-related event was speech disturbance in 16 (3.1%) cases. There were no significant differences among surgical targets with respect to the incidence of these events. Time-dependent postoperative events leading to the revision of a given DBS electrode for any reason occurred in 4.7% ± 1.0%, 9.3% ± 1.4%, and 12.4% ± 1.5% of electrodes at 1, 4, and 7 years postoperatively, respectively. Staged bilateral DBS was associated with approximately twice the risk of repeat surgery for electrode replacement vs unilateral surgery (P = .020). CONCLUSION: These data provide low incidences for adverse events in a large series of DBS surgeries for movement disorders at up to 10 years follow-up. Accurate estimates of adverse events will better inform patients and caregivers about the potential risks and benefits of surgery and provide normative data for process improvement.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Patel DM; Walker HC; Brooks R; Omar N; Ditty B; Guthrie BL
  • Start Page

  • 200
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 1