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OBJECTIVES: Pallidal stimulation and pallidotomy are known to improve the symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, it is not known which modality produces greater benefit in patients who have already undergone unilateral pallidotomy. It is also suggested that the original pallidal surgery provides a greater benefit than subsequent pallidal surgery. The aim of this study was to analyze which modality produced greater PD symptom improvement in patients with a prior pallidotomy and whether the chronological order of the pallidal surgery influenced the size of the improvement. METHODS: Five patients who had undergone a prior unilateral pallidotomy for PD were studied. Because of ongoing Parkinsonian symptoms, all patients subsequently underwent contralateral pallidal surgery, either a further pallidotomy or pallidal stimulation. All surgeries were performed by a single functional neurosurgeon and the patients prospectively assessed and scored at routine follow-ups. Paired-sample t-tests were used to detect differences in outcomes after first and second surgeries. RESULTS: Two patients underwent pallidal stimulation and three underwent a second pallidotomy. Mean follow-up was 13.5 months and 12.3 months, respectively. Greater percentage improvements in the majority of scores were found after pallidal stimulation compared with a second pallidotomy, namely Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) II off (25.22% vs. -3.27%), UPDRS III off (36.15% vs. 5.21%), rigidity (58.34% vs. 11.54%), tremor (5.56% vs. -30.48%), bradykinesia (48.55% vs. -2.23%), gait composite (16.52% vs. -51.79%), dyskinesia duration (83.33% vs. 66.67%), dyskinesia disability (100% vs. 66.67%), speech (10% vs. -50%), and the proportion of the day spent in the "off" state (50% vs. 25%). Comparing outcomes after the first surgery to those after the second surgery, statistical differences were found in dyskinesia duration improvement and ipsilateral dyskinesia improvement after the second surgery (p < 0.004 and p = 0.021, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Pallidal stimulation produced greater symptom improvement than a second pallidotomy and subsequent surgery did not produce inferior results to the original pallidal surgery.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





117 - 122


Deep Brain Stimulation, Female, Globus Pallidus, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Neurosurgical Procedures, Pallidotomy, Parkinson Disease, Reoperation, Retrospective Studies, Treatment Outcome