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Vim thalamotomy for Holmes' tremor secondary to midbrain tumour
  1. M-C Kim1,
  2. B C Son1,
  3. Y Miyagi2,
  4. J-K Kang1
  1. 1Department of Neurosurgery, Kangnam St Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
  2. 2Department of Neurosurgery, Kaizuka Hospital, Fukuoka, Japan
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr B C Son, Department of Neurosurgery, Kangnam St Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 505 Banpo-Dong, Seocho-Gu, Seoul, Korea 137–040;


Holmes' (rubral or midbrain) tremor is an unusual combination of 2 Hz to 5 Hz rest, postural, and kinetic tremors of an upper extremity. This tremor has been considered to result from the lesions in the vicinity of the red nucleus in the midbrain. There has been no systematic analysis of the surgical target in the Holmes' tremor so far of nucleus ventrointermedius (Vim) or globus pallidus interna. This 26 year old man gradually developed a disabling midbrain tremor involving both the distal and proximal parts of the left upper arm. Additional neurological findings included oculomotor palsy and ataxia of the left arm. On the radiological studies, a mass lesion (germinoma) was found on the midbrain tegmentum, which was treated by conventional radiation therapy. Although there was improvement in the radiological imaging, his midbrain tremor became intolerable despite medical treatment. The authors performed MR guided stereotactic Vim thalamotomy. With radiofequency lesioning in the right Vim, his resting, postural, and action tremors were much alleviated in both the distal and proximal parts of the left upper extremity. The authors consider that Vim thalamotomy is still an effective means of controlling midbrain tremors involving the proximal upper limb.

  • Holmes' tremor
  • Vim thalamotomy
  • midbrain tumour

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