Safety of anterior commissure-posterior commissure-based target calculation of the subthalamic nucleus in functional stereotactic procedures

Feridun Acar, Jonathan P. Miller, Mehmet C. Berk, Gregory Anderson, Kim J. Burchiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The subthalamic nucleus (STN) is a common target of functional stereotactic surgeries. High-field magnetic resonance imaging and sophisticated computer systems provide precise identification of the nucleus location in stereotactic space. However, it is unclear what additional benefit these techniques provide over traditional anterior commissure-posterior commissure (AC-PC)-based standard atlas coordinate calculation methods based on the AC-PC plane. The accuracy of AC-PC-based standard atlas coordinate targeting of the STN using 1.5-tesla images compared with direct visualization of the nucleus on fused 3-tesla images was examined. A retrospective examination of stereotactic images from 20 patients (40 STN targets) who underwent deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease was undertaken at our institution. Two methods were used to identify the STN stereotactic coordinates: (1) an AC-PC-based standard atlas coordinate calculation obtained by a series of measurements using 1.5-tesla images, and (2) a computer workstation calculation using fused 3-tesla and 1.5-tesla images. Euclidean distances between two sets of coordinates of the same target were calculated in three dimensions. Differences along individual X, Y, and Z axes were analyzed to determine whether there was a greater difference in one direction than in another. Data from the right and left sides were pooled to increase the sample power. The anterior-posterior and lateral frame tilts were compared to X, Y, and Z differences to find a correlation using linear regression. Statistical analyses were performed. The accuracy of the position of the STN calculated with state-of-the-art imaging systems was not significantly better than that obtained using traditional AC-PC-based standard atlas coordinate calculation if the frame was aligned with the AC-PC plane. The mean difference was 0.45 mm, 0.72 mm, and 0.98 mm in the X, Y, and Z axes, respectively. Therefore, it is possible to effectively target the STN for stereotactic treatment of Parkinson's disease, for instance in a situation where expensive advanced technology is unavailable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-291
Number of pages5
JournalStereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007


  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Image guidance
  • Manual targeting
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Subthalamic nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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