Object Reliable visualization of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is indispensable for accurate placement of electrodes in deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery for patients with Parkinson disease (PD). The aim of the study was to evaluate different promising new MRI methods at 3.0 T for preoperative visualization of the STN using a standard installation protocol. Methods Magnetic resonance imaging studies (T2-FLAIR, T1-MPRAGE, T2*-FLASH2D, T2-SPACE, and susceptibility-weighted imaging sequences) obtained in 9 healthy volunteers and in 1 patient with PD were acquired. Two neuroradiologists independently analyzed image quality and visualization of the STN using a 6-point scale. Interrater reliability, contrast-to-noise ratios, and signal-to-noise ratios for the STN were calculated. For illustration of the anatomical accuracy, coronal T2*-FLASH2D images were fused with the corresponding coronal section schema of the Schaltenbrand and Wahren stereotactic atlas. Results The STN was best and reliably visualized on T2*-FLASH2D imaging (in particular, the coronal view). No major artifacts in the STN were observed in any of the sequences. Susceptibility-weighted, T2-SPACE, and T2*-FLASH2D imaging provided significantly higher contrast-to-noise ratio values for the STN than standard T2-weighted imaging. Fusion of the coronal T2*-FLASH2D and the digitized coronal atlas view projected the STN clearly within the boundaries of the STN found in anatomical sections. Conclusions For 3.0-T MRI, T2*-FLASH2D (particularly the coronal view) provides optimal delineation of the STN using a standard installation protocol.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published