Background: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is a highly effective surgical treatment for patients with advanced Parkinson disease (PD). Combining 7.0-Tesla (7T) T2- and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) sequences allows for selective segmenting of the motor part of the STN and, thus, for possible optimization of DBS. Materials and Methods: 7T T2 and DWI sequences were obtained, and probabilistic segmentation of motor, associative, and limbic STN segments was performed. Left- and right-sided motor outcome (Movement Disorders Society Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale) scores were used for evaluating the correspondence between the active electrode contacts in selectively segmented STN and the clinical DBS effect. The Bejjani line was reviewed for crossing of segments. Results: A total of 50 STNs were segmented in 25 patients and proved highly feasible. Although the highest density of motor connections was situated in the dorsolateral STN for all patients, the exact partitioning of segments differed considerably. For all the active electrode contacts situated within the predominantly motor-connected segment of the STN, the average hemi-body Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale motor improvement was 80%; outside this segment, it was 52% (p < 0.01). The Bejjani line was situated in the motor segment for 32 STNs. Conclusion: The implementation of 7T T2 and DWI segmentation of the STN in DBS for PD is feasible and offers insight into the location of the motor segment. Segmentation-guided electrode placement is likely to further improve motor response in DBS for PD. However, commercially available DBS software for postprocessing imaging would greatly facilitate widespread implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Early online date2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022


  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Parkinson disease
  • diagnostic imaging
  • subthalamic nucleus
  • treatment outcome

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