Neurosurgery Blog


Daily bibliographic review of the Neurosurgery Department. La Fe University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

Seizure outcomes of temporal lobe epilepsy surgery in patients with normal MRI and without specific histopathology

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:757–766

Seizure outcome following surgery in pharmacoresistant temporal lobe epilepsy patients with normal magnetic resonance imaging and normal or non-specific histopathology is not sufficiently presented in the literature.

Methods In a retrospective design, we reviewed data of 263 patients who had undergone temporal lobe epilepsy surgery and identified 26 (9.9%) who met the inclusion criteria. Seizure outcomes were determined at 2-year follow-up. Potential predictors of Engel class I (satisfactory outcome) were identified by logistic regression analyses.

Results Engel class I outcome was achieved in 61.5% of patients, 50% being completely seizure free (Engel class IA outcome). The strongest predictors of satisfactory outcome were typical ictal seizure semiology (p = 0.048) and localised ictal discharges on scalp EEG (p = 0.036).

Conclusion Surgery might be an effective treatment choice for the majority of these patients, although outcomes are less favourable than in patients with magnetic resonance imaging defined lesional temporal lobe epilepsy. Typical ictal seizure semiology and localised ictal discharges on scalp EEG were predictors of Engel class I outcome.

A novel miniature robotic device for frameless implantation of depth electrodes in refractory epilepsy

J Neurosurg 126:1622–1628, 2017

The authors’ group recently published a novel technique for a navigation-guided frameless stereotactic approach for the placement of depth electrodes in epilepsy patients. To improve the accuracy of the trajectory and enhance the procedural workflow, the authors implemented the iSys1 miniature robotic device in the present study into this routine.

METHODS As a first step, a preclinical phantom study was performed using a human skull model, and the accuracy and timing between 5 electrodes implanted with the manual technique and 5 with the aid of the robot were compared. After this phantom study showed an increased accuracy with robot-assisted electrode placement and confirmed the robot’s ability to maintain stability despite the rotational forces and the leverage effect from drilling and screwing, patients were enrolled and analyzed for robot-assisted depth electrode placement at the authors’ institution from January 2014 to December 2015. All procedures were performed with the S7 Surgical Navigation System with Synergy Cranial software and the iSys1 miniature robotic device.

RESULTS Ninety-three electrodes were implanted in 16 patients (median age 33 years, range 3–55 years; 9 females, 7 males). The authors saw a significant increase in accuracy compared with their manual technique, with a median deviation from the planned entry and target points of 1.3 mm (range 0.1–3.4 mm) and 1.5 mm (range 0.3–6.7 mm), respectively. For the last 5 patients (31 electrodes) of this series the authors modified their technique in placing a guide for implantation of depth electrodes (GIDE) on the bone and saw a significant further increase in the accuracy at the entry point to 1.18 ± 0.5 mm (mean ± SD) compared with 1.54 ± 0.8 mm for the first 11 patients (p = 0.021). The median length of the trajectories was 45.4 mm (range 19–102.6 mm). The mean duration of depth electrode placement from the start of trajectory alignment to fixation of the electrode was 15.7 minutes (range 8.5–26.6 minutes), which was significantly faster than with the manual technique. In 12 patients, depth electrode placement was combined with subdural electrode placement. The procedure was well tolerated in all patients. The authors did not encounter any case of hemorrhage or neurological deficit related to the electrode placement. In 1 patient with a psoriasis vulgaris, a superficial wound infection was encountered. Adequate physiological recordings were obtained from all electrodes. No additional electrodes had to be implanted because of misplacement.

CONCLUSIONS The iSys1 robotic device is a versatile and easy to use tool for frameless implantation of depth electrodes for the treatment of epilepsy. It increased the accuracy of the authors’ manual technique by 60% at the entry point and over 30% at the target. It further enhanced and expedited the authors’ procedural workflow.

Mesial Extratemporal Lobe Epilepsy: Clinical Features and Surgical Strategies

Neurosurgery 80:269–278, 2017

Extratemporal lobe epilepsy surgery remains a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. Scalp electroencephalography (EEG) correlates, clinical semiology, and imaging findings are often ambiguous or difficult to interpret, necessitating the need for invasive recordings. This is particularly true for those extratemporal lobe epilepsy cases in which seizures develop from the midline.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the clinical features and surgical strategies in mesial extratemporal lobe epilepsy.

METHODS: A retrospective study reviewing clinical and surgical characteristics was conducted in 30 patients who underwent epilepsy surgery in mesial extratemporal areas at our institution between 1991 and 2011.

RESULTS: Although the location of the epileptogenic zone was associated with specific seizure types, semiology proved to be heterogeneous. Although scalp EEG was of good lateralizing value, it was poor for localizing the epileptogenic zone, necessitating a frequent need for invasive electroencephalographic recordings.

CONCLUSION: Surgical resections in mesial extratemporal regions were found to be safe and resulted in satisfactory seizure outcomes.

Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy for Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Neurosurgery 79:S83–S91, 2016

Approximately one-third of patients with epilepsy do not achieve adequate seizure control through medical management alone. Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) is one of the most common forms of medically refractory epilepsy referred for surgical management. Stereotactic laser amygdalohippocampotomy using magnetic resonance–guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (MRg-LITT) is an important emerging therapy for MTLE.

Initial published reports support MRg-LITT as a less invasive surgical option with a shorter hospital stay and fewer neurocognitive side effects compared with craniotomy for anterior temporal lobectomy with amygdalohippocampectomy and selective amygdalohippocampectomy.

We provide a historical overview of laser interstitial thermal therapy development and the technological advancements that led to the currently available commercial systems. Current applications of MRg-LITT for MTLE, reported outcomes, and technical issues of the surgical procedure are reviewed. Although initial reports indicate that stereotactic laser amygdalohippocampotomy may be a safe and effective therapy for medically refractory MTLE, further research is required to establish its long-term effectiveness and its cost/benefit profile.

Electrical stimulation of the parahippocampal gyrus for prediction of posthippocampectomy verbal memory decline


J Neurosurg 125:1053–1060, 2016

Epilepsy surgery is of known bene t for drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE); however, a certain number of patients suffer signi cant decline in verbal memory after hippocampectomy. To prevent this disabling compli- cation, a reliable test for predicting postoperative memory decline is greatly desired. Therefore, the authors assessed the value of electrical stimulation of the parahippocampal gyrus (PHG) as a provocation test of verbal memory decline after hippocampectomy on the dominant side.

Methods Eleven right-handed, Japanese-speaking patients with medically intractable left TLE participated in the study. Before surgery, they underwent provocative testing via electrical stimulation of the left PHG during a verbal en- coding task. Their pre- and posthippocampectomy memory function was evaluated according to the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R) and/or Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) before and 6 months after surgery. The rela- tionship between postsurgical memory decline and results of the provocative test was evaluated.

Results Left hippocampectomy was performed in 7 of the 11 patients. In 3 patients with a positive provocative rec- ognition test, verbal memory function, as assessed by the WMS-R, decreased after hippocampectomy, whereas in 4 patients with a negative provocative recognition test, verbal memory function, as assessed by the WMS-R or MMSE, was preserved.

Conclusions Results of the present study suggest that electrical stimulation of the PHG is a reliable provocative test to predict posthippocampectomy verbal memory decline.


The evolving utility of diffusion tensor tractography in the surgical management of temporal lobe epilepsy


Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:2185–2193

Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a relatively new imaging modality that has found many peri-operative applications in neurosurgery.

Methods A comprehensive survey of the applications of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in planning for temporal lobe epilepsy surgery was conducted. The presentation of this literature is supplemented by a case illustration.

Results The authors have found that DTI is well utilized in epilepsy surgery, primarily in the tractography of Meyer’s loop. DTI has also been used to demonstrate extratemporal connections that may be responsible for surgical failure as well as perioperative planning. The tractographic anatomy of the temporal lobe is discussed and presented with original DTI pictures.

Conclusions The uses of DTI in epilepsy surgery are varied and rapidly evolving. A discussion of the technology, its limitations, and its applications is well warranted and presented in this article.

Rates and Predictors of Seizure Freedom With Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Intractable Epilepsy


Neurosurgery 79:345–353, 2016

Neuromodulation-based treatments have become increasingly important in epilepsy treatment. Most patients with epilepsy treated with neuromodulation do not achieve complete seizure freedom, and, therefore, previous studies of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) therapy have focused instead on reduction of seizure frequency as a measure of treatment response.

OBJECTIVE: To elucidate rates and predictors of seizure freedom with VNS.

METHODS: We examined 5554 patients from the VNS therapy Patient Outcome Registry, and also performed a systematic review of the literature including 2869 patients across 78 studies.

RESULTS: Registry data revealed a progressive increase over time in seizure freedom after VNS therapy. Overall, 49% of patients responded to VNS therapy 0 to 4 months after implantation ($50% reduction seizure frequency), with 5.1% of patients becoming seizure-free, while 63% of patients were responders at 24 to 48 months, with 8.2% achieving seizure freedom. On multivariate analysis, seizure freedom was predicted by age of epilepsy onset .12 years (odds ratio [OR], 1.89; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.38- 2.58), and predominantly generalized seizure type (OR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.01-1.82), while overall response to VNS was predicted by nonlesional epilepsy (OR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.06- 1.81). Systematic literature review results were consistent with the registry analysis: At 0 to 4 months, 40.0% of patients had responded to VNS, with 2.6% becoming seizurefree, while at last follow-up, 60.1% of individuals were responders, with 8.0% achieving seizure freedom.

CONCLUSION: Response and seizure freedom rates increase over time with VNS therapy, although complete seizure freedom is achieved in a small percentage of patients.

Selective amygdalohippocampectomy via trans-superior temporal gyrus keyhole approach

Selective amygdalohippocampectomy via trans-superior temporal gyrus keyhole approach

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:785–789

Hippocampal sclerosis is the most common cause of drug-resistant epilepsy amenable for surgical treatment and seizure control. The rationale of the selective amygdalohippocampectomy is to spare cerebral tissue not included in the seizure generator.

Method Describe the selective amygdalohippocampectomy through the trans-superior temporal gyrus keyhole approach.

Conclusion Selective amygdalohippocampectomy for temporal lobe epilepsy is performed when the data (semiology, neuroimaging, electroencephalography) point to the mesial temporal structures. The trans-superior temporal gyrus keyhole approach is a minimally invasive and safe technique that allows disconnection of the temporal stem and resection of temporomesial structures.

Robot-Assisted Stereoelectroencephalography

Robot-Assisted Stereoelectroencephalography

Neurosurgery 78:169–180, 2016

Robot-assisted stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) may represent a simplified, precise, and safe alternative to the more traditional SEEG techniques.

OBJECTIVE: To report our clinical experience with robotic SEEG implantation and to define its utility in the management of patients with medically refractory epilepsy.

METHODS: The prospective observational analyses included all patients with medically refractory focal epilepsy who underwent robot-assisted stereotactic placement of depth electrodes for extraoperative brain monitoring between November 2009 and May 2013. Technical nuances of the robotic implantation technique are presented, as well as an analysis of demographics, time of planning and procedure, seizure outcome, in vivo accuracy, and procedure-related complications.

RESULTS: One hundred patients underwent 101 robot-assisted SEEG procedures. Their mean age was 33.2 years. In total, 1245 depth electrodes were implanted. On average, 12.5 electrodes were implanted per patient. The time of implantation planning was 30 minutes on average (range, 15-60 minutes). The average operative time was 130 minutes (range, 45-160 minutes). In vivo accuracy (calculated in 500 trajectories) demonstrated a median entry point error of 1.2 mm (interquartile range, 0.78-1.83 mm) and a median target point error of 1.7 mm (interquartile range, 1.20-2.30 mm). Of the group of patients who underwent resective surgery (68 patients), 45 (66.2%) gained seizure freedom status. Mean follow-up was 18 months. The total complication rate was 4%.

CONCLUSION: The robotic SEEG technique and method were demonstrated to be safe, accurate, and efficient in anatomically defining the epileptogenic zone and subsequently promoting sustained seizure freedom status in patients with difficult-to- localize seizures.

Statistical shape analysis of temporal lobe in mesial temporal sclerosis patients

Statistical shape analysis of temporal lobe in mesial temporal sclerosis patients

Acta Neurochir (2015) 157:1897–1903

Surgery is regarded as a common treatment option for patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy due to hippocampal sclerosis but sometimes deciding this diagnosis can be very difficult. We aim to investigate the shape differences in the temporal lobe of mesial temporal sclerosis epilepsy patients compared with healthy controls, investigating the side difference and, if present, assessing the clinical application of this situation.

Method The MRI scans of mesial TLE patients and controls were retrospectively reviewed. Temporal lobe data were collected from the two-dimensional digital images. Standard anthropometric landmarks were selected and marked on each digital image using TPSDIG 2.04 software. Eight anatomic landmarks were marked on images. A generalized Procrustes analysis was used to evaluate the shape difference. The shape deformation of the temporal lobe from control to patient was evaluated using the TPS method.

Results There were statistically significant TL shape differences between groups. High level deformations for the left and right side from the control to patient group were seen in the TPS graphic. The highest deformation was determined at the inferior lateral temporal midpoint of the middle temporal gyri and superior temporal landmark points of both the right and left sides.

Conclusion Our study for the first time demonstrated temporal shape differences in TLE patients using a landmark-based geometrical morphometric method by taking into consideration the topographic distribution of TL.

Posterior callosotomy in the semi-prone park-bench position

Posterior callosotomy using a parietooccipital interhemispheric approach in the semi-prone park-bench position-1

J Neurosurg 123:1322–1325, 2015

A 2-stage corpus callosotomy is accepted as a palliative procedure for patients older than 16 years with, in particular, medically intractable generalized epilepsy and drop attack seizures and is preferable for a lower risk of disconnection syndrome.

Although the methods by which a previously performed craniotomy can be reopened for posterior callosotomy have already been reported, posterior corpus callosotomy using a parietooccipital interhemispheric approach with the patient in a semi-prone park-bench position has not been described in the literature.

Here, the authors present a surgical technique for posterior callosotomy using a parietooccipital interhemispheric approach with a semi-prone parkbench position as a second surgery. Although this procedure requires an additional skin incision in the parietooccipital region, it makes the 2-stage callosotomy safer and easier to perform because of reduced intracranial adhesion, less bleeding, and an easier approach to the splenium of the corpus callosum.

Seizures Outcome After Stereoelectroencephalography-Guided Thermocoagulations in Malformations of Cortical Development Poorly Accessible to Surgical Resection

Seizures Outcome After Stereoelectroencephalography-Guided Thermocoagulations in Malformations of Cortical Development Poorly Accessible to Surgical Resection

Neurosurgery 77:9–15, 2015

Radiofrequency thermocoagulation (RFTC) guided by stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) has proved to be a safe palliative method to reduce seizure frequency in patients with drug-resistant partial epilepsy. In malformation of cortical development (MCD), increasing the number of implanted electrodes over that needed for mapping of the epileptogenic zone could help to maximize RFTC efficiency.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the benefit of SEEG-guided RFTC in 14 patients suffering from drug-resistant epilepsy related to MCD located in functional cortical areas or in regions poorly accessible to surgery.

METHODS: Ten men and 4 women were treated by RFTC. Thermolesions were produced by applying a 50-V, 120-mA current for 10 to 30 seconds within the epileptogenic zone as identified by the SEEG investigation.

RESULTS: An average of 25.8 ± 17.5 thermolesions were made per procedure. The median follow-up after the procedure was 41.7 months. Sixty-four percent of the patients experienced a long-term decrease in seizure frequency of .50%, of whom 6 (43%) presented long-lasting freedom from seizure. When a focal low-voltage fast activity was present at seizure onset on SEEG recordings, 87.5% of patients were responders or seizure free. All of the patients in whom electric stimulation reproduced spontaneous seizures were responders.

CONCLUSION: Our results show the good benefit-risk ratio of the SEEG-guided procedure for patients suffering from MCD in whom surgery is risky. This study identifies 2 factors, focal low-voltage, high-frequency activity at seizure onset and lowered epileptogenic threshold in the coagulated area, that could be predictive of a favorable seizure outcome after RFTC.

Is there a risk of seizures in “preventive” awake surgery for incidental diffuse low-grade gliomas?

Is there a risk of seizures in “preventive” awake surgery for incidental diffuse low-grade gliomas?

J Neurosurg 122:1397–1405, 2015

Although a large amount of data supports resection for symptomatic diffuse low-grade glioma (LGG), the therapeutic strategy regarding incidental LGG (ILGG) is still a matter of debate. Indeed, early “preventive” surgery has recently been proposed in asymptomatic patients with LGG, after showing that the extent of resection was larger than in symptomatic patients with LGG. However, the quality of life should be preserved by avoiding both neurological deficit and epilepsy. The aim of this study was to determine the risk of seizures related to such a prophylactic surgical treatment in ILGG.

Methods The authors report a prospective series of 21 patients with ILGG who underwent awake surgery with a minimum follow-up of 20 months following resection. Data regarding clinicoradiological features, surgical procedures, and outcomes were collected and analyzed. In particular, the eventual occurrence and type of seizures in the intra- and postoperative periods were studied, as follows: early (< 3 months) and long-term (until last follow-up) periods.

Results There were no intraoperative seizures in this series. During the early postoperative period, the authors observed only a single episode of partial seizures in a patient with no antiepileptic drug (AED) prophylaxis—all other patients were given antiepileptic treatment following resection. The AEDs were discontinued in all cases, with a mean delay of 8 months after surgery (range 3–24 months). No patient had permanent neurological deficits. All 21 patients returned to an active familial, social, and professional life (working full time in all cases). Total or even “supratotal” resection (the latter meaning that a margin around the tumor visible on FLAIR-weighted MRI was removed) was achieved in 14 cases (67%). In 7 patients (33%) subtotal resection was performed, with a mean residual tumor volume of 1.5 ml (range 1–7 ml). No oncological treatment was administered in the postsurgical period. The mean follow-up after surgery was 49 months (range 20–181 months). Only 2 patients had seizures during the long-term follow-up. Indeed, due to tumor progression after incomplete resection, seizures occurred in 2 cases, 39 and 78 months postsurgery, leading to administration of AEDs and adjuvant treatment. So far, all patients are still alive and enjoy a normal life.

Conclusions: The risk of inducing seizures is very low in ILGG, and it does not represent an argument against early surgery. These data strongly support the proposal of a screening policy for LGG that will evolve toward a preventive treatment in a more systematic manner.

Endoscopy-Assisted Interhemispheric Transcallosal Hemispherotomy

Endoscopy-Assisted Interhemispheric Transcallosal Hemispherotomy

Neurosurgery 76:485–495, 2015

Various hemispherotomy techniques have been developed to reduce complication rates and achieve the best possible seizure control.

OBJECTIVE: To present a novel and minimally invasive endoscopy-assisted approach to perform this procedure.

METHODS: Endoscopy-assisted interhemispheric transcallosal hemispherotomy was performed in 5 children (April 2013-June 2014). The procedure consisted of performing a small craniotomy (4 · 3 cm) just lateral to midline using a transverse skin incision. After dural opening, the surgery was performed with the assistance of a rigid high-definition endoscope, and bayoneted self-irrigating bipolar forceps and other standard endoscopic instruments. Steps included a complete corpus callosotomy followed by the disconnection of the hemisphere at the level of the basal nuclei and thalamus. The surgeries were performed in a dedicated operating room with intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging and neuronavigation. Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging confirmed a total disconnection.

RESULTS: The pathologies for which surgeries were performed included sequelae of middle a cerebral artery infarct (n = 2), Rasmussen syndrome (n = 1), and hemimegalencephaly (2). Four patients had an Engel class I and 1 patient had a class II outcome at a mean follow-up of 10.2 months (range, 3-14 months). The mean blood loss was 80mL, and mean operating time was 220 minutes. There were no complications in this study.

CONCLUSION: This study describes a pilot novel technique and the feasibility of performing a minimally invasive, endoscopy-assisted hemispherotomy.

Intraoperative computed tomography in epilepsy surgery

Intraoperative computed tomography for intracranial electrode implantation surgery in medically refractory epilepsy

J Neurosurg 122:526–531, 2015

Accurate placement of intracranial depth and subdural electrodes is important in evaluating patients with medically refractory epilepsy for possible resection. Confirming electrode locations on postoperative CT scans does not allow for immediate replacement of malpositioned electrodes, and thus revision surgery is required in select cases. Intraoperative CT (iCT) using the Medtronic O-arm device has been performed to detect electrode locations in deep brain stimulation surgery, but its application in epilepsy surgery has not been explored. In the present study, the authors describe their institutional experience in using the O-arm to facilitate accurate placement of intracranial electrodes for epilepsy monitoring.

Methods In this retrospective study, the authors evaluated consecutive patients who had undergone subdural and/or depth electrode implantation for epilepsy monitoring between November 2010 and September 2012. The O-arm device is used to obtain iCT images, which are then merged with the preoperative planning MRI studies and reviewed by the surgical team to confirm final positioning. Minor modifications in patient positioning and operative field preparation are necessary to safely incorporate the O-arm device into routine intracranial electrode implantation surgery. The device does not obstruct surgeon access for bur hole or craniotomy surgery. Depth and subdural electrode locations are easily identified on iCT, which merge with MRI studies without difficulty, allowing the epilepsy surgical team to intraoperatively confirm lead locations.

Results Depth and subdural electrodes were implanted in 10 consecutive patients by using routine surgical techniques together with preoperative stereotactic planning and intraoperative neuronavigation. No wound infections or other surgical complications occurred. In one patient, the hippocampal depth electrode was believed to be in a suboptimal position and was repositioned before final wound closure. Additionally, 4 strip electrodes were replaced due to suboptimal positioning. Postoperative CT scans did not differ from iCT studies in the first 3 patients in the series and thus were not obtained in the final 7 patients. Overall, operative time was extended by approximately 10–15 minutes for O-arm positioning, less than 1 minute for image acquisition, and approximately 10 minutes for image transfer, fusion, and intraoperative analysis (total time 21–26 minutes).

Conclusions The O-arm device can be easily incorporated into routine intracranial electrode implantation surgery in standard-sized operating rooms. The technique provides accurate 3D visualization of depth and subdural electrode contacts, and the intraoperative images can be easily merged with preoperative MRI studies to confirm lead positions before final wound closure. Intraoperative CT obviates the need for routine postoperative CT and has the potential to improve the accuracy of intracranial electroencephalography recordings and may reduce the necessity for revision surgery.

Volumetric CT analysis as a predictor of seizure outcome following temporal lobectomy

Volumetric brain analysis in neurosurgery- Part 3

J Neurosurg Pediatr 15:133–143, 2015

The incidence of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) due to mesial temporal sclerosis (MTS) can be high in developing countries. Current diagnosis of MTS relies on structural MRI, which is generally unavailable in developing world settings. Given widespread effects on temporal lobe structure beyond hippocampal atrophy in TLE, the authors propose that CT volumetric analysis can be used in patient selection to help predict outcomes following resection.

METHODS Ten pediatric patients received preoperative CT scans and temporal resections at the CURE Children’s Hospital of Uganda. Engel classification of seizure control was determined 12 months postoperatively. Temporal lobe volumes were measured from CT and from normative MR images using the Cavalieri method. Whole brain and fluid volumes were measured using particle filter segmentation. Linear discrimination analysis (LDA) was used to classify seizure outcome by temporal lobe volumes and normalized brain volume.

RESULTS Epilepsy patients showed normal to small brain volumes and small temporal lobes bilaterally. A multivariate measure of the volume of each temporal lobe separated patients who were seizure free (Engel Class IA) from those with incomplete seizure control (Engel Class IB/IIB) with LDA (p < 0.01). Temporal lobe volumes also separate normal subjects, patients with Engel Class IA outcomes, and patients with Class IB/IIB outcomes (p < 0.01). Additionally, the authors demonstrated that age-normalized whole brain volume, in combination with temporal lobe volumes, may further improve outcome prediction (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS This study shows strong evidence that temporal lobe and brain volume can be predictive of seizure outcome following temporal lobe resection, and that volumetric CT analysis of the temporal lobe may be feasible in lieu of structural MRI when the latter is unavailable. Furthermore, since the authors’ methods are modality independent, these findings suggest that temporal lobe and normative brain volumes may further be useful in the selection of patients for temporal lobe resection when structural MRI is available.

The stereotactic approach for mapping epileptic networks


J Neurosurg 121:1239–1246, 2014

Stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) is a methodology that permits accurate 3D in vivo electroclinical recordings of epileptiform activity. Among other general indications for invasive intracranial electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring, its advantages include access to deep cortical structures, its ability to localize the epileptogenic zone when subdural grids have failed to do so, and its utility in the context of possible multifocal seizure onsets with the need for bihemispheric explorations. In this context, the authors present a brief historical overview of the technique and report on their experience with 2 SEEG techniques (conventional Leksell frame-based stereotaxy and frameless stereotaxy under robotic guidance) for the purpose of invasively monitoring difficult-to-localize refractory focal epilepsy.

Methods. Over a period of 4 years, the authors prospectively identified 200 patients with refractory epilepsy who collectively underwent 2663 tailored SEEG electrode implantations for invasive intracranial EEG monitoring and extraoperative mapping. The first 122 patients underwent conventional Leksell frame-based SEEG electrode placement; the remaining 78 patients underwent frameless stereotaxy under robotic guidance, following acquisition of a stereotactic ROSA robotic device at the authors’ institution. Electrodes were placed according to a preimplantation hypothesis of the presumed epileptogenic zone, based on a standardized preoperative workup including video-EEG monitoring, MRI, PET, ictal SPECT, and neuropsychological assessment. Demographic features, seizure semiology, number and location of implanted SEEG electrodes, and location of the epileptogenic zone were recorded and analyzed for all patients. For patients undergoing subsequent craniotomy for resection, the type of resection and procedure-related complications were prospectively recorded. These results were analyzed and correlated with pathological diagnosis and postoperative seizure outcomes.

Results. The epileptogenic zone was confirmed by SEEG in 154 patients (77%), of which 134 (87%) underwent subsequent craniotomy for epileptogenic zone resection. Within this cohort, 90 patients had a minimum follow-up of at least 12 months; therein, 61 patients (67.8%) remained seizure free, with an average follow-up period of 2.4 years. The most common pathological diagnosis was focal cortical dysplasia Type I (55 patients, 61.1%). Per electrode, the surgical complications included wound infection (0.08%), hemorrhagic complications (0.08%), and a transient neurological deficit (0.04%) in a total of 5 patients (2.5%). One patient (0.5%) ultimately died due to intracerebral hematoma directly ensuing from SEEG electrode placement.

Conclusions. Based on these results, SEEG methodology is safe, reliable, and effective. It is associated with minimal morbidity and mortality, and serves as a practical, minimally invasive approach to extraoperative localization of the epileptogenic zone in patients with refractory epilepsy.

Anticonvulsant prophylaxis for brain tumor surgery

Seizures frequency

J Neurosurg 121:1139–1147, 2014

Patients who undergo craniotomy for brain tumor resection are prone to experiencing seizures, which can have debilitating medical, neurological, and psychosocial effects.

A controversial issue in neurosurgery is the common practice of administering perioperative anticonvulsant prophylaxis to these patients despite a paucity of supporting data in the literature. The foreseeable benefits of this strategy must be balanced against potential adverse effects and interactions with critical medications such as chemotherapeutic agents and corticosteroids. Multiple disparate metaanalyses have been published on this topic but have not been applied into clinical practice, and, instead, personal preference frequently determines practice patterns in this area of management.

Therefore, to select the current best available evidence to guide clinical decision making, the literature was evaluated to identify meta-analyses that investigated the efficacy and/or safety of anticonvulsant prophylaxis in this patient population. Six meta-analyses published between 1996 and 2011 were included in the present study.

The Quality of Reporting of Meta-analyses and Oxman-Guyatt methodological quality assessment tools were used to score these meta-analyses, and the Jadad decision algorithm was applied to determine the highest-quality meta-analysis. According to this analysis, 2 metaanalyses were deemed to be the current best available evidence, both of which conclude that prophylactic treatment does not improve seizure control in these patients.

Therefore, this management strategy should not be routinely used.

Tailored Unilobar and Multilobar Resections for Orbitofrontal-Plus Epilepsy

Tailored Unilobar and Multilobar Resections for Orbitofrontal-Plus Epilepsy

Neurosurgery 75:388–397, 2014

Surgery for frontal lobe epilepsy often has poor results, likely because of incomplete resection of the epileptogenic zone.

OBJECTIVE: To present our experience with a series of patients manifesting 2 different anatomo-electro-clinical patterns of refractory orbitofrontal epilepsy, necessitating different surgical approaches for resection in each group.

METHODS: Eleven patients with refractory epilepsy involving the orbitofrontal region were consecutively identified over 3 years in whom stereoelectroencephalography identified the epileptogenic zone. All patients underwent preoperative evaluation, stereoelectroencephalography, and postoperative magnetic resonance imaging. Demographic features, seizure semiology, imaging characteristics, location of the epileptogenic zone, surgical resection site, and pathological diagnosis were analyzed. Surgical outcome was correlated with type of resection.

RESULTS: Five patients exhibited orbitofrontal plus frontal epilepsy with the epileptogenic zone consistently residing in the frontal lobe; after surgery, 4 patients were free of disabling seizures (Engel I) and 1 patient improved (Engel II). The remaining 6 patients had multilobar epilepsy with the epileptogenic zone located in the orbitofrontal cortex associated with the temporal polar region (orbitofrontal plus temporal polar epilepsy). After surgery, all 6 patients were free of disabling seizures (Engel I). Pathology confirmed focal cortical dysplasia in all patients. We report no complications or mortalities in this series.

CONCLUSION: Our findings highlight the importance of differentiating between orbitofrontal plus frontal and orbitofrontal plus temporal polar epilepsy in patients afflicted with seizures involving the orbitofrontal cortex. For identified cases of orbitofrontal plus temporal polar epilepsy, a multilobar resection including the temporal pole may lead to improved postoperative outcomes with minimal morbidity or mortality.

Stereoelectroencephalography in Children and Adolescents With Difficult-to-Localize Refractory Focal Epilepsy

Stereoelectroencephalography in Children and Adolescents With Difficult-to-Localize Refractory Focal Epilepsy

Neurosurgery 75:258–268, 2014

Although stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) has been shown to be a valuable tool for preoperative decision making in focal epilepsy, there are few reports addressing the utility and safety of SEEG methodology applied to children and adolescents.

OBJECTIVE: To present the results of our early experience using SEEG in pediatric patients with difficult-to-localize epilepsy who were not considered candidates for subdural grid evaluation.

METHODS: Thirty children and adolescents with the diagnosis of medically refractory focal epilepsy (not considered ideal candidates for subdural grids and strip placement) underwent SEEG implantation. Demographics, electrophysiological localization of the hypothetical epileptogenic zone, complications, and seizure outcome after resections were analyzed.

RESULTS: Eighteen patients (60%) underwent resections after SEEG implantations. In patients who did not undergo resections (12 patients), reasons included failure to localize the epileptogenic zone (4 patients); multifocal epileptogenic zone (4 patients); epileptogenic zone located in eloquent cortex, preventing resection (3 patients); and improvement in seizures after the implantation (1 patient). In patients who subsequently underwent resections, 10 patients (55.5%) were seizure free (Engel class I) and 5 patients (27.7%) experienced seizure improvement (Engel class II or III) at the end of the follow-up period (mean, 25.9 months; range, 12 to 47 months). The complication rate in SEEG implantations was 3%.

CONCLUSION: The SEEG methodology is safe and should be considered in children/ adolescents with difficult-to-localize epilepsy. When applied to highly complex and difficult-to-localize pediatric patients, SEEG may provide an additional opportunity for seizure freedom in association with a low morbidity rate.

Neurosurgery Department. “La Fe” University Hospital. Valencia, Spain


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Neurosurgery CNS: Flash Fluorescence for MCA Bypass Video 1

Neurosurgery CNS: Endoscopic Transventricular Lamina Terminalis Fenestration Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Endoscopic Transventricular Lamina Terminalis Fenestration Video 1

Neurosurgery CNS: Surgery for Giant PCOM Aneurysms Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Surgery for Giant PCOM Aneurysms Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Endovascular-Surgical Approach to Cavernous dAVF

Neurosurgery CNS: Lateral Supraorbital Approach Applied to Anterior Clinoidal Meningiomas Video 4

Neurosurgery CNS: Lateral Supraorbital Approach Applied to Anterior Clinoidal Meningiomas Video 3

Neurosurgery CNS: Lateral Supraorbital Approach Applied to Anterior Clinoidal Meningiomas Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Lateral Supraorbital Approach Applied to Anterior Clinoidal Meningiomas Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Surgery of AVMs in Motor Areas

NeurosurgeryCNS: The Fenestrated Yaşargil T-Bar Clip

NeurosurgeryCNS: Cotton-Clipping Technique to Repair Intraoperative Aneurysm Neck Tear Video 3

NeurosurgeryCNS: Cotton-Clipping Technique to Repair Intraoperative Aneurysm Neck Tear Video 2

NeurosurgeryCNS: Cotton-Clipping Technique to Repair Intraoperative Aneurysm Neck Tear Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS. ‘Double-Stick Tape’ Technique for Offending Vessel Transposition in Microvascular Decompression

NeurosurgeryCNS: Advances in the Treatment and Outcome of Brain Stem Cavernous Malformation Surgery: 300 Patients

3T MRI Integrated Neuro Suite

NeurosurgeryCNS: 3D In Vivo Modeling of Vestibular Schwannomas and Surrounding Cranial Nerves Using DIT

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 7

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 6

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 5

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 4

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 3

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 2

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Corticotomy Closure Avoids Subdural Collections After Hemispherotomy

NeurosurgeryCNS: Operative Nuances of Side-to-Side in Situ PICA-PICA Bypass Procedure

NeurosurgeryCNS. Waterjet Dissection in Neurosurgery: An Update After 208 Procedures: Video 3

NeurosurgeryCNS. Waterjet Dissection in Neurosurgery: An Update After 208 Procedures: Video 2

NeurosurgeryCNS. Waterjet Dissection in Neurosurgery: An Update After 208 Procedures: Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Fusiform Aneurysms of the Anterior Communicating Artery

NeurosurgeryCNS. Initial Clinical Experience with a High Definition Exoscope System for Microneurosurgery

NeurosurgeryCNS: Endoscopic Treatment of Arachnoid Cysts Video 2

NeurosurgeryCNS: Endoscopic Treatment of Arachnoid Cysts Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Typical colloid cyst at the foramen of Monro.

NeurosurgeryCNS: Neuronavigation for Neuroendoscopic Surgery

NeurosurgeryCNS:New Aneurysm Clip System for Particularly Complex Aneurysm Surgery

NeurosurgeryCNS: AICA/PICA Anatomical Variants Penetrating the Subarcuate Fossa Dura

Craniopharyngioma Supra-Orbital Removal

NeurosurgeryCNS: Use of Flexible Hollow-Core CO2 Laser in Microsurgical Resection of CNS Lesions

NeurosurgeryCNS: Ulnar Nerve Decompression

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm

NeurosurgeryCNS: ICG Videoangiography

NeurosurgeryCNS: Inappropiate aneurysm clip applications

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