Background: Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is the most feared complication in deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. The aim of the study was to evaluate patient safety and outcome using laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF) as guidance tool during DBS implantations. Methods: An LDF probe adapted for the stereotactic system was used as guide for creation of the trajectory. The microcirculation along 83 preplanned trajectories was measured with the guide during DBS surgery for movement disorders. The microvascular blood flow levels were investigated for all measurement positions. Medical record and postoperative radiology were retrospectively reviewed. Results: Of 2,963 measurement positions, 234 (7.9%) showed at least a doubled blood flow compared to the surrounding tissue. Of these 2.2% had a more than 5 times higher blood flow in front of the probe tip. Along 1 trajectory, a small ICH was detected during surgery. Increased blood flow was more common close to sulci and verticals. Conclusion: Real-time LDF measurement of the microcirculation using a forward-looking probe during DBS surgery can detect blood flow peaks and further minimize the risk of developing ICH. No separate guide tube is necessary as the probe also creates the trajectory for the DBS lead.

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