Externalising deep brain electrodes: an increased risk of infection?

Research paper by S S Bojanic, H H Sethi, J J Hyam, J J Yianni, D D Nandi, C C Joint, H H Carter, R R Gregory, P P Bain, T Z TZ Aziz

Indexed on: 01 Sep '04Published on: 01 Sep '04Published in: Journal of Clinical Neuroscience


It is the practice in many centres to externalise deep brain electrodes in functional neurosurgery to confirm efficacy of therapy prior to full implantation of the pacemaker. It has been a concern that such practice might lead to an increased rate of infection. We report a retrospective study of the rates of infection in two major centres where all electrodes are externalised in one centre and directly implanted in the other. We have not found an increased rate of infection as a result of externalisation and feel, particularly in pain patients, that doing so can lead to significant cost savings by avoiding ineffective implantations.