Local Infusion Therapy in the Monkey Brainstem: Technical Considerations


This chapter assesses the safety of freehand placement of an infusion catheter (outer diameter, 0.3 mm) in brainstems of cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) for local infusion therapy. A posterior midline approach through the cerebellum and roof of the fourth ventricle was used to implant catheters into a pontine target area. Computer tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and histology were used to examine the position of the implants. The freehand placement of a catheter resulted in approximately 5-mm variations in anterior-posterior and dorsal-ventral locations of the targeted implantation site. No evidence of morbidity from the surgery, or from the infusion process was present. In conclusion, small-diameter catheters for chronic drug infusions can be implanted safely into the brainstem, an eloquent region that has been considered surgically inoperable. Infusion systems may offer a minimally invasive, generally applicable tool to provide chronic therapy for central nervous system (CNS) lesions.


George I. Jallo, M.D.; Marc Becker, B.S.; Ya J. Liu, M.D.; Benjamin S. Carson Sr., M.D.; Michael Guarnieri, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

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