Long-term measurement of impedance in chronically implanted depth and subdural electrodes during responsive neurostimulation in humans

Karl A. Sillay, Paul Rutecki, Kathy Cicora, Greg Worrell, Joseph Drazkowski, Jerry J. Shih, Ashwini D. Sharan, Martha J. Morrell, Justin Williams, Brett Wingeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Long-term stability of the electrode-tissue interface may be required to maintain optimal neural recording with subdural and deep brain implants and to permit appropriate delivery of neuromodulation therapy. Although short-term changes in impedance at the electrode-tissue interface are known to occur, long-term changes in impedance have not previously been examined in detail in humans. To provide further information about short- and long-term impedance changes in chronically implanted electrodes, a dataset from 191 persons with medically intractable epilepsy participating in a trial of an investigational responsive neurostimulation device (the RNS® System, NeuroPace, Inc.) was reviewed. Monopolar impedance measurements were available for 391 depth and subdural leads containing a total of 1564 electrodes; measurements were available for median 802 days post-implant (range 28-1634). Although there were statistically significant short-term impedance changes, long-term impedance was stable after one year. Impedances for depth electrodes transiently increased during the third week after lead implantation and impedances for subdural electrodes increased over 12 weeks post-implant, then were stable over the subsequent long-term follow-up. Both depth and subdural electrode impedances demonstrated long-term stability, suggesting that the quality of long-term electrographic recordings (the data used to control responsive brain stimulation) can be maintained over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)718-726
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Stimulation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Current-controlled stimulation
  • Electrode-tissue interface
  • Epilepsy
  • Impedance
  • Responsive neurostimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Biophysics
  • General Neuroscience


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