Effect of cranial window diameter during deep brain stimulation surgery on volume of pneumocephalus

Justin Sharim, Patrick Pezeshkian, Antonio Desalles, Nader Pouratian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective Successful deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery necessitates high accuracy in targeting specific intracranial nuclei. Brain shift due to pneumocephalus can contribute to decreased accuracy. Larger burr holes and dural openings may increase pneumocephalus volume due to a greater degree of communication between the subdural space and extracranial air. The aim of this study is to determine if there is a statistically and clinically significant difference in postoperative pneumocephalus volume related to burr hole and durotomy size. Materials and Methods DBS electrodes were surgically implanted through either large (14 mm) burr holes or small (4 mm) twist drill holes. Immediate postoperative computerized tomography (CT) scans of 165 electrode implantations in 85 patients from 2010 to 2013 were retrospectively analyzed. Student's t-test and Mann-Whitney U-test were employed with a threshold of significance set at p ≤ 0.05. Results No significant difference in pneumocephalus was identified between patients who had implantation of DBS electrodes through 4 mm twist drill holes (N = 71 hemispheres, 12.84 ± 9.79 cm3) and those with large 14 mm burr holes (N = 87, 11.70 ± 7.46 cm3, p = 0.42). Volume of pneumocephalus did not correlate with duration of surgery or patient age. The groups did not differ significantly with respect to other aspects of surgical implantation technique or surgical duration. Conclusion While identifying factors that may reduce pneumocephalus volume may be critical to improving stereotactic accuracy and targeting, the current results suggest that burr hole size may not alter the degree of brain shift.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)574-578
Number of pages5
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain shift
  • cranial window
  • deep brain stimulation
  • pneumocephalus
  • retrospective study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of cranial window diameter during deep brain stimulation surgery on volume of pneumocephalus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this