Implantation of a closed-loop stimulation in the management of medically refractory focal epilepsy: A technical note

Kostas N. Fountas, Joseph R. Smith, Anthony M Murro, Jeffrey Politsky, Yong D Park, Patrick D. Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Open-loop stimulation studies have shown varying control of seizures with stimulation of different anatomical targets. A recent multi-institutional clinical study utilizing an external closed-loop stimulation system had promising results. A novel implantable closed-loop Responsive Neurostimulation System (RNS) (Neuropace, Inc., Mountainview, Calif., USA) consisting of a cranially implanted pulse generator, one or two quadripolar subdural strip or depth leads and a programmer is under testing in a prospective clinical trial. The RNS pulse generator continuously analyzes the patient's electrocortigrams (ECoGs) and automatically triggers electrical stimulation when specific ECoG characteristics programmed by the clinician, as indicative of electrographic seizures or precursor of epileptiform activities, are detected. The pulse generator then stores diagnostic information detailing detections and stimulations, including multichannel stored ECoGs. The RNS programmer communicates transcutaneously with the implanted pulse generator when initiated by a clinician. The RNS programmer can download diagnostics and store ECoGs for review. The RNS programmer can then be used to program detection and stimulation parameters. In our current communication, we describe the selection criteria for implanting this system, the preparation of the surgical candidates as well as the surgical technique. We also present our preliminary results with 8 patients who had an RNS implanted. Seven patients (87.5%) had more than 45% decrease in their seizure frequency. The mean follow-up time in our series was 9.2 months. The implantation of a closed-loop stimulation system, in our experience, represents a safe and relatively simple surgical procedure. However, the efficacy of this new treatment modality remains to be determined in further multi-institutional, prospective clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-158
Number of pages6
JournalStereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005


  • Closed-loop stimulation
  • Electrocortigrams
  • Epilepsy
  • Responsive Neurostimulation System

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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