We performed 118 consecutive DBS cases from November 1999 to June 2002. Intraoperatively there were 10 cases studied with fluoroscopy, 73 with 0.2 Tesla (T) MRI and 35 with 1.5 T MRI. Ten electrodes were secured by Medtronic caps, 25 by methyl methacrylate with titanium miniplates, and 82 by Navigus caps. The 3-dimensional displacement between the planned target and actual electrode position (3DD) was determined by fusing the postoperative MRI with the preoperative imaging. The 3DD for using Medtronic caps, methyl methacrylate with miniplates, and Navigus caps were 4.80 +/- 3.16, 2.64 +/- 1.26 and 2.23 +/- 1.15 mm (mean +/- SD), respectively. Navigus caps had statistically significant accuracy (P = 0.03) in holding the electrode when compared with Medtronic caps, and it facilitated electrode revision. The fixation devices significantly affect the final vertical position of the electrode. The 3DD for fluoroscopy, 0.2 T and 1.5 T MRI cases were 4.80 +/- 3.16, 2.31 +/- 1.21 and 2.34 +/- 1.14 mm (mean +/- SD), respectively. No statistically significant difference (P = 0.91) in 3DD was demonstrated between 0.2 T and 1.5 T MRI cases. The presence of intraoperative 1.5 T MRI allowed near real-time electrode position confirmation and early detection of hemorrhagic complications. Satisfactory microelectrode recording was feasible in low-field 0.2 T and high-field 1.5 T MRI environments. Further studies on performing DBS in real-time intraoperative MRI are warranted.