Directional deep brain stimulation (DBS) and pulse with <60μs increase side-effects threshold, enlarging the therapeutic window. However, new systems allowing these advanced features are more expensive and often available only for a limited number of patients in some centers. It is unknown how many and which DBS patients actually need the advanced features because of an insufficient improvement with standard parameters.
We included in the analysis all patients with Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and tremor who were selected to receive implantation of advanced DBS systems based on specific preoperative or intraoperative clinical features.
After a median follow-up of 15 months, 54.9% of the 51 patients implanted with directional leads were using the advanced features in one or both leads (n = 42 leads, 42%), meaning these leads were programmed either with directional stimulation (n = 9, 9%), a shorter pw (n = 20, 20%) or both (n = 13, 13%). This included 92% of patients implanted in the Vim, 44% of those implanted in the STN, and 40% of those implanted in the GPi.
DBS systems with advanced features may be particularly indicated for selected patients based on some clinical characteristics and the chosen target. This data may help clinicians allocate resources in a more informed way.

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