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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 409356, 4 pages
Clinical Study

Lead Fractures in Deep Brain Stimulation during Long-Term Follow-Up

1Department of Surgical Neurology, Functional Neurosurgery Unit, University Central Hospital of Asturias, 33006 Oviedo, Spain
2Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, University Central Hospital of Asturias, 33006 Oviedo, Spain

Received 7 June 2009; Revised 27 August 2009; Accepted 28 September 2009

Academic Editor: Yoshikazu Ugawa

Copyright © 2010 Fernando Seijo Fernández et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose was to determine the incidence of lead fracture in patients with DBS over a long period of time. We present a retrospective study of 208 patients who received 387 DBS electrodes. Fourteen patients had sixteen lead fractures (4% of the implanted leads) and two patients suffered from 2 lead fractures. Of all lead fractures, five patients had the connection between the leads and the extension cables located in mastoids region, ten in cervical area and one in thoracic region. The mean distance from the connection between the electrode and the extension cable and the lead fracture was 10.7 mm. The lead fracture is a common, although long-term complication in DBS surgery. In our experience, the most common site of electrode cable breakage is approximately between 9 and 13 mm from the junction between the lead and the extension cable. The most important cause of lead fracture is the rotational movement of the lead-extension cable system. If we suspect lead fracture, we must check the impedance of the electrode and to evaluate the side effects of voltage. Finally, we must conduct a radiological screening.