Hardware-related problems of deep brain stimulation.
Joint C., Nandi D., Parkin S., Gregory R., Aziz T.
Deep brain stimulation for the alleviation of movement disorders and pain is now an established therapy. However, very little has been published on the topic of hardware failure in the treatment of such conditions irrespective of clinical outcome. Such device-related problems lead to significant patient morbidity and increased cost of therapy in the form of prolonged antibiotics, in-patient hospitalization, repeat surgery, and device replacement. We report a prospective review of our experience at the Radcliffe Infirmary Oxford from the period of April 1998 to March 2001. Overall there is a 20% rate of hardware-related problems in this series, which falls between the 7% and 65% rates reported by other groups. The majority of these failures occurred early on in the series, and numbers declined with experience. Some of the problems may be idiosyncratic to the methodology of individual groups.