Article

Limbic system surgery for treatment-refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder: a prospective long-term follow-up of 64 patients Clinical article

Departments of Neurosurgery and.
Journal of Neurosurgery (Impact Factor: 3.15). 12/2012; 118(3). DOI: 10.3171/2012.11.JNS12389
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Object Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common and disabling psychiatric illness, and in a significant proportion of patients with OCD the disease is refractory to conventional pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. For more than half a century, patients with severe, treatment-resistant OCD have been treated with stereotactic limbic system lesions, including dorsal anterior cingulotomy. The authors present their results describing the efficacy and durability of limbic system surgery for OCD, characterizing a large cohort of patients treated at a single institution with a mean follow-up of more than 5 years. Methods The authors identified 64 consecutive patients undergoing cingulotomy for refractory OCD at the Massachusetts General Hospital between 1989 and 2009. Changes in OCD and major depressive disorder symptom severity were assessed at both the initial and most recent postoperative follow-up by using the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory, respectively. Full and partial OCD symptom responses were defined as Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale score reductions of ≥ 35% and 25%-34%, respectively. Results Regarding OCD symptom improvement, at the first postoperative follow-up (mean 10.7 months), 35% of patients demonstrated a full response and 7% were partial responders. Thirty patients had a subsequent procedure (repeat cingulotomy or subcaudate tractotomy). By the most recent follow-up (mean 63.8 months), rates climbed to 47% and 22% for full and partial responses, respectively. Of the 24 patients with at least a partial response at initial follow-up, 20 (83%) retained at least a partial response at final follow-up. Comorbid major depressive disorder severity decreased by 17% at the most recent follow-up. Conclusions Limbic system surgery based on initial cingulotomy offers a durable and effective treatment option for appropriately selected patients with severe OCD who have not responded to conventional pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy.

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    ABSTRACT: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic and debilitating psychiatric condition. Traditionally, anterior capsulotomy (AC) was an established procedure for treatment of patients with refractory OCD. Over recent decades, deep brain stimulation (DBS) has gained popularity. In this paper the authors review the published literature and compare the outcome of AC and DBS targeting of the area of the ventral capsule/ventral striatum (VC/VS) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc). Patients in published cases were grouped according to whether they received AC or DBS and according to their preoperative scores on the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (YBOCS), and then separated according to outcome measures: remission (YBOCS score < 8); response (≥ 35% improvement in YBOCS score); nonresponse (< 35% improvement in YBOCS score); and unfavorable (i.e., worsening of the baseline YBOCS score). Twenty studies were identified reporting on 170 patients; 62 patients underwent DBS of the VC/VS or the NAcc (mean age 38 years, follow-up 19 months, baseline YBOCS score of 33), and 108 patients underwent AC (mean age 36 years, follow-up 61 months, baseline YBOCS score of 30). In patients treated with DBS there was a 40% decrease in YBOCS score, compared with a 51% decrease for those who underwent AC (p = 0.004). Patients who underwent AC were 9% more likely to go into remission than patients treated with DBS (p = 0.02). No difference in complication rates was noted. Anterior capsulotomy is an efficient procedure for refractory OCD. Deep brain stimulation in the VC/VS and NAcc area is an emerging and promising therapy. The current popularity of DBS over ablative surgery for OCD is not due to nonefficacy of AC, but possibly because DBS is perceived as more acceptable by clinicians and patients.

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Jun 1, 2014