Pallidotomy improves quality of life in selected Parkinsonian patients: An Italian report

Domenico G. Iacopino, Sebastiano Lucerna, Cole A. Giller, Francesco M. Salpietro, Riccardo Lo Presti, Edoardo Sessa, Paolo Di Bella, Placido Bramanti, Francesco Tomasello

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Pallidotomy has recently been reconfirmed as effective for otherwise intractable symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Nonetheless almost every aspect of its performance requires choices which are not fully established and may vary between centers. These include: 1) patient selection; 2) choice of imaging modality, 3) choice of anatomic landmarks for targeting the lesion, 4) choice of method for physiologic confirmation of location, 5) choice of lesion size and shape. We present two cases of pallidotomy procedures in Parkinsonian patients that in our knowledge are the first reported in Italy. Our experience and a careful review of the literature led to the following choices: 1) selection of Parkinsonian patients with dominant L-Dopa induced dyskinesia, akinetic and rigidity symptoms, 2) use of CT due to the distortion effects of MRI, 3) use of standard (Laitinen) coordinates combined with an image fusion method using MRI, 4) use of stimulation to gauge distance to internal capsule and optic tract, 5) production of vertical lesion covering internal segment of pallidum. At a 1-year follow-up the results include a 45% drop in UPDRS (Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale) motor score and almost complete resolution of contralateral dopa induced dyskinesias in both patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-115
Number of pages11
JournalFunctional Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1998


  • Pallidotomy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Stereotaxy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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