Intra-operative Transdural Electric Stimulation in Awake Patient: Target Refining for Motor Cortex Stimulation
Introduction. Most authors perform the implantation of epidural electrodes for motor cortex stimulation (MCS) under general anesthesia, using navigation merely based on anatomic landmarks or in combination with intra-operative sensory evoked potentials (SEP) for functional localization. However, intra-operative SEP can only provide the localization of central sulcus in patients who present sensory pathways which are at least partially preserved. Conversely, there are massive deafferentation pain syndromes (e.g., brachial plexus avulsion or amputation) in which the peripheral sensory pathways are severely or totally injured, precluding the use of intra-operative SEP.
Objective. The authors present a simple technique for functional localization and intra-operative mapping of motor cortex by the implementation of transdural electrical stimulation of cerebral cortex for target refining of motor cortex during cortical electrode implantation procedures.
Methods. Thirteen patients with complete brachial plexus root avulsion suffering from severe neuropathic pain in the affected limb were included in this report. First, the anatomical location of the motor cortex of the hand was stereotactically determined by the hand knob within the central sulcus. Functional mapping of cortex was performed by transdural bipolar electrical stimulation under local anesthesia, so patients were fully awake during the whole time of cortical mapping. The cortical mapping oriented the placement of epidural electrodes for chronic cortical stimulation for treatment of neuropathic pain.
Results. Stereotactic MR images of the hand knob were considered a satisfactory landmark for the motor area of the hand in all patients. On top of the anatomical landmark, transdural electrical stimulation (4.0–6.0 mA, 30–60 Hz and pulse width of 1 ms) gave vivid sensations of movement in the deafferented hand, forearm, and arm. The phantom sensation was elicited with lower current than usual motor mapping in patients with intact limbs. It was possible to delineate the spatial map of the phantom hand on the cortical surface with acceptable resolution. The sensation of wrist flexion was elicited in all; most of the patients had clear distinction of the thumb and index. The remaining fingers were not perceived individually. The cortical area responsive to the thumb tended to occupy a lateral position related to the areas of the other fingers, following the maps of the normal homunculus. The evoked sensation was restricted to the period of stimulation, and it stopped as soon as that was discontinued. The stimulation also evoked emotional responses related to sensation of limb movement.
Conclusion. The proposed technique was useful for target refining in implantation of epidural electrode for motor cortex stimulation. Further studies are required to investigate if target refining by intra-operative mapping will significantly improve the results in the treatment of refractory pain.
KeywordsMotor cortex stimulation Cortical mapping Pain Cerebral cortex Intraoperative neurophysiology
Conflict of Interest
The authors state that they have no conflict of interest related to this article.
- 4.Dettmers C, Adler T, Rzanny R, Van Schayck R, Gaser C, Weiss T, Miltner WH, Bruckner L, Weiller C (2001) Increased excitability in the primary motor cortex and supplementary motor area in patients with phantom limb pain after upper limb amputation. Neurosci Lett 307:109–112PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 10.Meyerson BA, Lindblom U, Linderoth B, Lind G, Herregodts P (1993) Motor cortex stimulation as treatment of trigeminal neuropathic pain. Acta Neurochir Suppl (Wien) 58:150–153Google Scholar
- 12.Nguyen JP, Lefaucheur JP, Decq P, Uchiyama T, Carpentier A, Fontaine D, Brugieres P, Pollin B, Feve A, Rostaing S, Cesaro P, Keravel Y (1999) Chronic motor cortex stimulation in the treatment of central and neuropathic pain. Correlations between clinical, electrophysiological and anatomical data. Pain 82:245–251PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 20.Woolsey CN (1958) Organization of somatic sensory and motor areas of the cerebral cortex. In: Harlow HF, Woolsey CN (eds) Biological and biochemical bases of behavior. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, pp 63–81Google Scholar