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This article is the author’s final published version in Frontiers in Neurology, Volume 12, 2 December 2021, Article number 785280.

The published version is available at Copyright © Wu et al.


Objective: There have been significant improvements in the design and manufacturing of deep brain stimulation (DBS) systems, but no study has considered the impact of modern systems on complications. We sought to compare the relative occurrence of reoperations after de novo implantation of modern and traditional DBS systems in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) or essential tremor (ET) in the United States.

Design: Retrospective, contemporaneous cohort study.

Setting: Multicenter data from the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrative claims database between 2016 and 2018.

Participants: This population-based sample consisted of 5,998 patients implanted with a DBS system, of which 3,869 patients had a de novo implant and primary diagnosis of PD or ET. Follow-up of 3 months was available for 3,810 patients, 12 months for 3,561 patients, and 24 months for 1,812 patients.

Intervention: Implantation of a modern directional (MD) or traditional omnidirectional (TO) DBS system.

Primary and Secondary Outcome Measures: We hypothesized that MD systems would impact complication rates. Reoperation rate was the primary outcome. Associated diagnoses, patient characteristics, and implanting center details served as covariates. Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed to compare rates of event-free survival and regression models were used to determine covariate influences.

Results: Patients implanted with modern systems were 36% less likely to require reoperation, largely due to differences in acute reoperations and intracranial lead reoperations. Risk reduction persisted while accounting for practice differences and implanting center experience. Risk reduction was more pronounced in patients with PD.

Conclusions: In the first multicenter analysis of device-related complications including modern DBS systems, we found that modern systems are associated with lower reoperation rates. This risk profile should be carefully considered during device selection for patients undergoing DBS for PD or ET. Prospective studies are needed to further investigate underlying causes.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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