Motor Evoked Potential Recordings during Segmented Deep Brain Stimulation-A Feasibility Study

Jay Shils, Ryan B. Kochanski, Alireza Borghei, Alexander Candocia, Gian D. Pal, Mitra Afshari, Leonard Metman Verhagen, Sepehr Sani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Segmented deep brain stimulation (DBS) leads, which are capable of steering current in the direction of any 1 of 3 segments, can result in a wider therapeutic window by directing current away from unintended structures, particularly, the corticospinal tract (CST). It is unclear whether the use of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) is feasible during DBS surgery via stimulation of individual contacts/segments in order to quantify CST activation thresholds and optimal contacts/segments intraoperatively. OBJECTIVE: To assess the feasibility of using MEP to identify CST thresholds for ring and individual segments of the DBS lead under general anesthesia. METHODS: MEP testing was performed during pulse generator implantation under general anesthesia on subjects who underwent DBS lead implantation into the subthalamic nucleus (STN). Stimulation of each ring and segmented contacts of the directional DBS lead was performed until CST threshold was reached. Stereotactic coordinates and thresholds for each contact/segment were recorded along with the initially activated muscle group. RESULTS: A total of 34 hemispheres were included for analysis. MEP thresholds were recorded from 268 total contacts/segments. For segmented contacts (2 and 3, respectively), the mean highest CST thresholds were 2.33 and 2.62 mA, while the mean lowest CST thresholds were 1.7 and 1.89 mA, suggesting differential thresholds in relation to CST. First dorsal interosseous and abductor pollicis brevis (34% each) were the most commonly activated muscle groups. CONCLUSION: MEP threshold recording from segmented DBS leads is feasible. MEP recordings can identify segments with highest CST thresholds and may identify segment orientation in relation to CST.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-425
Number of pages7
JournalOperative Neurosurgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021


  • Corticospinal tract
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Motor evoked potential
  • Segmented
  • Subthalamic nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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