Electrode placement is a neurosurgical procedure involving the implanting of small electrodes in certain areas of a patient’s brain for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. For example, deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrodes are often used to relieve symptoms of Parkinson's disease or dystonia in patients with these disorders. Depth electrodes may also be placed in a diagnostic procedure to help surgeons detect the location of seizure activity in the brain.
The ClearPoint system provides several benefits for electrode placement procedures:
Real-time visualization – Using the ClearPoint system and MRI, surgeons can see inside the brain throughout the procedure on a real-time basis.
iMRI electrode placement – With the ClearPoint system, surgeons receive real-time feedback from MRI when establishing the target and trajectory, unlike conventional methods for electrode placement that use preoperative images to help plot the trajectory. Instead of a large stereotactic head frame, our much smaller SmartFrame device is used to establish a trajectory and assist in placing the electrodes.
Establishing trajectory – ClearPoint software allows surgeons to quickly establish the desired trajectory to the target location right before performing the procedure. The conventional methods of electrode placement require surgeons to take scans hours or days before the surgery and to spend valuable time mapping out an appropriate trajectory based on these preoperative images.
Intra-procedural adjustments – The ClearPoint system enables surgeons to see the results of brain shift and other movements that may require an adjusted trajectory. The ability to immediately view the patient’s brain after any potential movement from the original position means that surgeons can make immediate adjustments to their trajectories.
Avoiding radiation – Because MRI does not generate ionizing radiation, in contrast to other imaging modalities such as computed tomography (CT) and X-ray, patients are under no increased risk of exposure from continuous imaging during a procedure. The MRI machine can run throughout the entire surgery.
Utilization of existing resources – Most hospitals already have MRI suites that they use for diagnostic purposes. The ClearPoint system turns these existing MRI suites into operating rooms. The ClearPoint system is compatible with the major brands of MRI scanners on the market today (1.5T and 3T), so hospitals do not have to invest in new expensive equipment to complement our system. Instead, the ClearPoint system complements the hospital’s existing resources.