Effect of Anisotropic Brain Conductivity on Patient-Specific Volume of Tissue Activation in Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson Disease

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Objective: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) modeling can improve surgical targeting by quantifying the spatial extent of stimulation relative to subcortical structures of interest. A certain degree of model complexity is required to obtain accurate predictions, particularly complexity regarding electrical properties of the tissue around DBS electrodes. In this study, the effect of anisotropy on the volume of tissue activation (VTA) was evaluated in an individualized manner. Methods: Tissue activation models incorporating patient-specific tissue conductivity were built for 40 Parkinson disease patients who had received bilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) DBS. To assess the impact of local changes in tissue anisotropy, one VTA was computed at each electrode contact using identical stimulation parameters. For comparison, VTAs were also computed assuming isotropic tissue conductivity. Stimulation location was considered by classifying the anisotropic VTAs relative to the STN. VTAs were characterized based on volume, spread in three directions, sphericity, and Dice coefficient. Results: Incorporating anisotropy generated significantly larger and less spherical VTAs overall. However, its effect on VTA size and shape was variable and more nuanced at the individual patient and implantation levels. Dorsal VTAs had significantly higher sphericity than ventral VTAs, suggesting more isotropic behavior. Contrastingly, lateral and posterior VTAs had significantly larger and smaller lateral-medial spreads, respectively. Volume and spread correlated negatively with sphericity. Conclusion: The influence of anisotropy on VTA predictions is important to consider, and varies across patients and stimulation location. Significance: This study highlights the importance of considering individualized factors in DBS modeling to accurately characterize the VTA.


IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical Engineering



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