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Keywords:

  • microelectrode recording;
  • deep brain stimulation;
  • Parkinson's disease;
  • operating room;
  • subthalamic nucleus;
  • neurosurgery

Abstract

Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus is the standard of care for treating medically intractable Parkinson's disease. Although the adjunct of microelectrode recording improves the targeting accuracy of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation in comparison with image guidance alone, there has been no investigation of the financial cost of intraoperative microelectrode recording. This study was performed to address this issue. A comprehensive literature search of large subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation series (minimum, 75 patients) was performed, revealing a mean operating room time of 223.83 minutes for unilateral and 279.79 minutes for simultaneous bilateral implantation. The baseline operating room time was derived from the published operating room time for subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation without microelectrode recording. The total cost (operating room, anesthesia, neurosurgery) was then calculated based on hospitals geographically representative of the entire United States. The average cost for subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation implantation with microelectrode recording per patient is $26,764.79 for unilateral, $33,481.43 for simultaneous bilateral, and $53,529.58 for staged bilateral. For unilateral implantation, the cost of microelectrode recording is $19,461.75, increasing the total cost by 267%. For simultaneous bilateral implantation, microelectrode recording costs $20,535.98, increasing the total cost by 159%. For staged bilateral implantation, microelectrode recording costs $38,923.49, increasing the total cost by 267%. Microelectrode recording more than doubles the cost of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease and more than triples the cost for unilateral and staged bilateral procedures. The cost burden of microelectrode recording to subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation requires the clinical efficacy of microelectrode recording to be proven in a prospective evidence-based manner in order to curtail the potential for excessive financial burden to the health care system. © 2011 Movement Disorder Society