The aim of the study was to investigate if laser Doppler perfusion monitoring (LDPM) can be used in order to differentiate between gray and white matter and to what extent microvascular perfusion can be recorded in the deep brain structures during stereotactic neurosurgery. An optical probe constructed to fit in the Leksell® Stereotactic System was used for measurements along the trajectory and in the targets (globus pallidus internus, subthalamic nucleus, zona incerta, thalamus) during the implantation of deep brain stimulation leads (n = 22). The total backscattered light intensity (TLI) reflecting the grayness of the tissue, and the microvascular perfusion were captured at 128 sites. Heartbeat-synchronized pulsations were found at all perfusion recordings. In 6 sites the perfusion was more than 6 times higher than the closest neighbor indicating a possible small vessel structure. TLI was significantly higher (p < 0.005) and the perfusion significantly lower (p < 0.005) in positions identified as white matter in the respective MRI batch. The measurements imply that LDPM has the potential to be used as an intracerebral guidance tool.

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