Utility of minimally invasive endoscopic skull base approaches for the treatment of drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy

J Neurosurg 139:1604–1612, 2023

Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) is an important cause of drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) in adults and children. Traditionally, the surgical option of choice for mTLE includes a frontotemporal craniotomy and open resection of the anterior temporal cortex and mesial temporal structures. Although this technique is effective and durable, the neuropsychological morbidity resulting from temporal neocortical resections has resulted in the investigation of alternative approaches to resect the mesial temporal structures to achieve seizure freedom while minimizing postoperative cognitive deficits. Outcomes supporting the use of selective temporal resections have resulted in alternative approaches to directly access the mesial temporal structures via endoscopic approaches whose direct trajectory to the epileptogenic zone minimizes retraction, resection, and manipulation of surrounding cortex.

The authors reviewed the utility of the endoscopic transmaxillary, endoscopic endonasal, endoscopic transorbital, and endoscopic supracerebellar transtentorial approaches for the treatment of drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. First, a review of the literature demonstrated the anatomical feasibility of each approach, including the limits of exposure provided by each trajectory. Next, clinical data assessing the safety and effectiveness of these techniques in the treatment of DRE were analyzed. An outline of the surgical techniques is provided to highlight the technical nuances of each approach.

The direct access to mesial temporal structures and avoidance of lateral temporal manipulation makes endoscopic approaches promising alternatives to traditional methods for the treatment of DRE arising from the temporal pole and mesial temporal lobe. A dearth of literature outlining clinical outcomes, a need for qualified cosurgeons, and a lack of experience with endoscopic approaches remain major barriers to widespread application of the aforementioned techniques. Future studies are warranted to define the utility of these approaches moving forward.

Predictive factors for post operative seizures following meningioma resection in patients without preoperative seizures: a multicenter retrospective analysis

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:1333–1343

Meningiomas are the most common primary brain tumor and represent 35% of all intracranial neoplasms. However, in the early post-operative period approximate 3–5% of patients experience an acute symptomatic seizure. Establishing risk factors for postoperative seizures will identify those patients without preoperative seizures at greatest risk of postoperative seizures and may guide antiseizure medications (ASMs) management.

Methods Adult seizure naïve patients who underwent primary resection of a World Health Organization (WHO) Grade 1–3 meningioma at the three Mayo Clinic Campuses between 2012–2022 were retrospectively reviewed. Multivariate regression analyses were used to identify radiological, surgical, and management features with the development of new-onset seizures in patients undergoing meningioma resection.

Results Of 113 seizure naïve patients undergoing meningioma resection 11 (9.7%) experienced a new-onset post-operative seizure. Tumor volume ≥ 25 cm 3 (Odds Ratio (OR) 5.223, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.546 – 17.650, p = 0.008) and cerebral convexity meningiomas (OR 4.742, 95% CI 1.255 – 14.336, p = 0.016) were most associated with new onset postoperative seizures in multivariate analysis. ASMs and corticosteroid therapies did not display a significant difference among those with and without a new onset postoperative seizure.

Conclusion In the current study, a larger tumor volume (≥ 25 cm3 ) and/or convexity meningiomas predicted the development of new onset post-operative seizures. Those who present with these factors should be counseled for their increased risk of new onset post-operative seizures and may benefit from prophylactic ASMs therapy.

Pediatric Vagus Nerve Stimulation: Case Series Outcomes and Future Directions

Neurosurgery 92:1043–1051, 2023

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a neuromodulatory procedure most extensively studied as an adjunct to medically refractory epilepsy. Despite widespread adoption and decades of clinical experience, clinical predictors of response to VNS remain unclear. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate a retrospective cohort of pediatric patients undergoing VNS at our institution to better understand who may benefit from VNS and identify factors which may predict response to VNS.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study examining pediatric patients undergoing VNS over nearly a 20-year span at a single institution. Presurgical evaluation, including demographics, clinical history, and diagnostic electroencephalogram, and imaging findings were examined. Primary outcomes included VNS response.

RESULTS: Two hundred ninety-seven subjects were studied. The mean age at surgery was 10.1 (SD = 4.9, range = 0.8-25.3) years; length of follow-up was a mean of 4.6 years (SD = 3.5, median = 3.9 years, range 1 day-16.1 years). There was no association between demographic factors, epilepsy etiology, or genetic basis and VNS outcomes. There was an association between reduction in main seizure type with positive MRI finding. Of all MRI findings analyzed, brain atrophy was significantly associated with worse VNS outcomes, whereas dysplastic hippocampus and chronic periventricular leukomalacia findings were found to be associated with improved outcomes. Increased seizure semiology variability and seizure type were also associated with improved seizure outcomes.

CONCLUSION: Predicting response to VNS remains difficult, leading to incompletely realized benefits and suboptimal resource utilization. Specific MRI findings and increased seizure semiology variability and type can help guide clinical decision making and patient counseling.

Burr hole microsurgical subtemporal selective amygdalohippocampectomy

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:1215–1226

At present, selective amygdalohippocampectomy (SAH) has become popular in the treatment of drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). However, there is still an ongoing discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of this approach.

Methods The study included a consecutive series of 43 adult patients with drug-resistant TLE, involving 24 women and 19 men (1.8/1). Surgeries were performed at the Burdenko Neurosurgery Center from 2016 to 2019. To perform subtemporal SAH through the burr hole with the diameter of 14 mm, we used two types of approaches: preauricular, 25 cases, and supra-auricular, 18 cases. The follow-up ranged from 36 to 78 months (median 59 months). One patient died 16 months after surgery (accident).

Results By the third year after surgery, Engel I outcome was achieved in 80.9% (34 cases) of cases and Engel II in 4 (9.5%) and Engel III and Engel IV in 4 (9.6%) cases. Among the patients with Engel I outcomes, anticonvulsant therapy was completed in 15 (44.1%), and doses were reduced in 17 (50%) cases. Verbal and delayed verbal memory decreased after surgery in 38.5% and 46.1%, respectively. Verbal memory was mainly affected by preauricular approach in comparison with supraauricular (p = 0.041). In 15 (51.7%) cases, minimal visual field defects were detected in the upper quadrant. At the same time, visual field defects did not extend into the lower quadrant and inside the 20° of the upper affected quadrant in any case.

Conclusions Burr hole microsurgical subtemporal SAH is an effective surgical procedure for drug-resistant TLE. It involves minimal risks of loss of visual field within the 20° of the upper quadrant. Supra-auricular approach, compared to preauricular, results in a reduction in the incidence of upper quadrant hemianopia and is associated with a lower risk of verbal memory impairment.

Functional Reorganization of the Mesial Frontal Premotor Cortex in Patients With Supplementary Motor Area Seizures

Neurosurgery 92:186–194, 2023

Direct cortical stimulation of the mesial frontal premotor cortex, including the supplementary motor area (SMA), is challenging in humans. Limited access to these brain regions impedes understanding of human premotor cortex functional organization and somatotopy.

OBJECTIVE: To test whether seizure onset within the SMA was associated with functional remapping of mesial frontal premotor areas in a cohort of patients with epilepsy who underwent awake brain mapping after implantation of interhemispheric subdural electrodes.

METHODS: Stimulation trials from 646 interhemispheric subdural electrodes were analyzed and compared between patients who had seizure onset in the SMA (n = 13) vs patients who had seizure onset outside of the SMA (n = 12). 1:1 matching with replacement between SMA and non-SMA data sets was used to ensure similar spatial distribution of electrodes. Centroids and 95% confidence regions were computed for clustered head, trunk, upper extremity, lower extremity, and vision responses. A generalized linear mixedeffects model was used to test for significant differences in the resulting functional maps. Clinical, radiographic, and histopathologic data were reviewed.

RESULTS: After analyzing direct cortical stimulation trials from interhemispheric electrodes, we found significant displacement of the head and trunk responses in SMA compared with non-SMA patients (P < .01 for both). These differences remained significant after accounting for structural lesions, preexisting motor deficits, and seizure outcome.

CONCLUSION: The somatotopy of the mesial frontal premotor regions is significantly altered in patients who have SMA-onset seizures compared with patients who have seizure onset outside of the SMA, suggesting that functional remapping can occur in these brain regions.

Predictors of postoperative seizure outcome in supratentorial meningioma

J Neurosurg 137:515–524, 2022

Meningiomas are the most common primary intracranial tumor. Seizures are common sequelae of meningioma development. Meningioma patients with seizures can be effectively treated with resection, with reports of seizure freedom of 60%–90%. Still, many patients manifest persistent epilepsy. Determining factors associated with worsened seizure outcomes remains critical in improving the quality of life for these patients. The authors sought to identify clinical, radiological, and histological factors associated with worse seizure outcomes in patients with supratentorial meningioma and preoperative seizures.

METHODS The authors retrospectively reviewed the charts of 384 patients who underwent meningioma resection from 2008 to 2020. The charts of patients with a documented history of preoperative seizures were further reviewed for clinical, radiological, operative, perioperative, histological, and postoperative factors associated with seizures. Engel class at last follow-up was retrospectively assigned by the authors and further grouped into favorable (class I) and worse (class II–IV) outcomes. Factors were subsequently compared by group using comparative statistics. Univariable and multivariable regression models were utilized to identify independent predictors of worse seizure outcome.

RESULTS Fifty-nine patients (15.4%) were found to have preoperative seizures, of whom 57 had sufficient postoperative data to determine Engel class outcome. Forty-two patients (74%) had Engel class I outcomes. The median follow-up was 17 months. Distinct margins on preoperative imaging (p = 0.012), Simpson grade I resection (p = 0.004), postresection ischemia (p = 0.019), WHO grade (p = 0.019), and recurrent disease (p = 0.015) were found to be the strongest predictors of Engel class outcome in univariable logistic regression. MIB-1 index (p = 0.001) and residual volume (p = 0.014) at last follow-up were found to be the strongest predictors of Engel class outcome in univariable generalized linear regression. Postresection ischemia (p = 0.012), WHO grade (p = 0.022), recurrent disease (p = 0.038), and MIB-1 index (p = 0.002) were found to be the strongest independent predictors of Engel class outcomes in multivariable analysis.

CONCLUSIONS Postresection ischemia, higher WHO grade, elevated MIB-1 index, and disease recurrence independently predict postresection seizure persistence in patients with supratentorial meningioma. Further understanding of the etiology of these markers may aid in elucidation of this complex disease process and guide management to prevent worse outcomes.

Stereotactic Radiofrequency Thermocoagulation of Hypothalamic Hamartomas With Bilateral Attachments to the Hypothalamus

Neurosurgery 91:295–303, 2022

Disconnection surgery for the treatment of epileptic hypothalamic hamartomas (HHs) is strategically difficult in cases with complex-shaped HHs, especially with bilateral hypothalamic attachments, despite its effectiveness.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the feasibility of a new approach for stereotactic radiofrequency thermocoagulation (SRT) using penetration of the third ventricle (SRT-TT) aiming to disconnect bilateral hypothalamic attachments in a single-staged, unilateral procedure.

METHODS: Ninety patients (median age at surgery, 5.0 years) who had HHs with bilateral hypothalamic attachments and were followed for at least 1 year after their last SRT were retrospectively reviewed.

RESULTS: Thirty-three patients underwent SRT-TT as initial surgery. Of the 58 patients after mid-2013 when SRT-TT was introduced, 33 underwent SRT-TT and 12 (20.7%) required reoperation (ReSRT), whereas 20 of 57 patients (35.1%) without SRT-TT underwent reoperation. Reoperation was required in significantly fewer patients aftermid-2013 (n = 12 of 58, 20.7%) than before mid-2013 (n = 15 of 32, 46.9%) (P = .01). Final seizure freedoms were not different between before and aftermid-2013 (gelastic seizure freedom, n = 30 [93.8%] vs n = 49 [84.5%] and other types of seizure freedom, n = 21 of 31 [67.7%] vs n = 32 of 38 [84.2%]). Persistent complications were less in SRT-TT than in ReSRT using the bilateral approach, but not significantly. However, hormonal replacement was required significantly more often in ReSRT using the bilateral approach (4 of 9, 44.4%) than in SRT-TT (3 of 32, 9.4%) (P = .01).

CONCLUSION: SRT-TT enabled disconnection of bilateral attachments of HHs in a singlestaged procedure, which reduced the additional invasiveness of reoperation. Moreover, SRT-TT reduced damage to the contralateral hypothalamus, with fewer endocrinological complications than the bilateral approach.

Acute Postoperative Seizures and Engel Class Outcome at 1 Year Postselective Laser Amygdalohippocampal Ablation for Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Neurosurgery 91:347–354, 2022

MRI-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (MRgLITT) for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy is a safe, minimally invasive alternative to traditional surgical approaches. Prognostic factors associated with efficacy are debated; preoperative epilepsy duration and semiology seem to be important variables.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether acute postoperative seizure (APOS) after MRgLITT for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy is associated with seizure freedom/Engel class outcome at 1 year.

METHODS: A single-institution retrospective study including adults undergoing first time MRgLITT for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (2010-2019) with ≥1-year follow-up. Preoperative data included sex, epilepsy duration, number of antiepileptics attempted, weekly seizure frequency, seizure semiology, and radiographically verified anatomic lesion at seizure focus. Postoperative data included clinical detection of APOS within 7 days postoperatively, and immediate amygdala, hippocampal, entorhinal, and parahippocampal residual volumes determined using quantitative imaging postprocessing. Primary outcome was seizure freedom/Engel classification 1 year postoperatively.

RESULTS: Of 116 patients, 53%(n = 61) were female, with an average epilepsy duration of 21 (±14) years, average 6 failed antiepileptics (±3), and weekly seizure frequency of 5. APOS was associated with worse Engel class (P = .010), conferring 6.3 times greater odds of having no improvement vs achieving seizure freedom at 1 year. Residual amygdala, hippocampal, entorhinal, and parahippocampal volumes were not statistically significant prognostic factors.

CONCLUSION: APOS was associated with a lower chance of seizure freedom at 1 year post-MRgLITT for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. Amygdala, hippocampal, entorhinal, and parahippocampal residual volumes after ablation were not significant prognostic factors.


Insular epilepsy surgery: lessons learned from institutional review and patient-level meta-analysis

J Neurosurg 136:523–535, 2022

Insular lobe epilepsy is a challenging condition to diagnose and treat. Due to anatomical intricacy and proximity to eloquent brain regions, resection of epileptic foci in that region can be associated with significant postoperative morbidity. The aim of this study was to review available evidence on postoperative outcomes following insular epilepsy surgery.

METHODS A comprehensive literature search (PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Cochrane) was conducted for studies investigating the postoperative outcomes for seizures originating in the insula. Seizure freedom at last follow-up (at least 12 months) comprised the primary endpoint. The authors also present their institutional experience with 8 patients (4 pediatric, 4 adult).

RESULTS A total of 19 studies with 204 cases (90 pediatric, 114 adult) were identified. The median age at surgery was 23 years, and 48% were males. The median epilepsy duration was 8 years, and 17% of patients had undergone prior epilepsy surgery. Epilepsy was lesional in 67%. The most common approach was transsylvian (60%). The most commonly resected area was the anterior insular region (n = 42, 21%), whereas radical insulectomy was performed in 13% of cases (n = 27). The most common pathology was cortical dysplasia (n = 68, 51%), followed by low-grade neoplasm (n = 16, 12%). In the literature, seizure freedom was noted in 60% of pediatric and 69% of adult patients at a median follow-up of 29 months (75% and 50%, respectively, in the current series). A neurological deficit occurred in 43% of cases (10% permanent), with extremity paresis comprising the most common deficit (n = 35, 21%), followed by facial paresis (n = 32, 19%). Language deficits were more common in left-sided approaches (24% vs 2%, p < 0.001). Univariate analysis for seizure freedom revealed a significantly higher proportion of patients with lesional epilepsy among those with at least 12 months of follow-up (77% vs 59%, p = 0.032).

CONCLUSIONS These findings may serve as a benchmark when tailoring decision-making for insular epilepsy, and may assist surgeons in their preoperative discussions with patients. Although seizure freedom rates are quite high with insular epilepsy treatment, the associated morbidity needs to be weighed against the potential for seizure freedom.


Extent of parahippocampal ablation is associated with seizure freedom after laser amygdalohippocampotomy

J Neurosurg 135:1742–1751, 2021

The authors aimed to examine the relationship between mesial temporal subregion ablation volume and seizure outcome in a diverse cohort of patients who underwent stereotactic laser amygdalohippocampotomy (SLAH) for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE).

METHODS Seizure outcomes and pre- and postoperative images were retrospectively reviewed in patients with MTLE who underwent SLAH at a single institution. Mesial temporal subregions and the contrast-enhancing ablation volume were manually segmented. Pre- and postoperative MR images were coregistered to assess anatomical ablation. Postoperative MRI and ablation volumes were also spatially normalized, enabling the assessment of seizure outcome with heat maps.

RESULTS Twenty-eight patients with MTLE underwent SLAH, 15 of whom had mesial temporal sclerosis (MTS). The rate of Engel class I outcome at 1 year after SLAH was 39% overall: 47% in patients with MTS and 31% in patients without MTS. The percentage of parahippocampal gyrus (PHG) ablated was higher in patients with an Engel class I outcome (40% vs 25%, p = 0.04). Subregion analysis revealed that extent of ablation in the parahippocampal cortex (35% vs 19%, p = 0.03) and angular bundle (64% vs 43%, p = 0.02) was positively associated with Engel class I outcome. The degree of amygdalohippocampal complex (AHC) ablated was not associated with seizure outcome (p = 0.30).

CONCLUSIONS Although the AHC was the described target of SLAH, seizure outcome in this cohort was associated with degree of ablation for the PHG, not the AHC. Complete coverage of both the AHC and PHG is technically challenging, and more work is needed to optimize seizure outcome after SLAH.

Resective temporal lobe surgery in refractory temporal lobe epilepsy: prognostic factors of postoperative seizure outcome

J Neurosurg 135:760–769, 2021

Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is one of the most common forms of epilepsy. In approximately 30% of patients, seizures are refractory to drug treatment. Despite the achievements of modern presurgical evaluation in recent years, the presurgical prediction of seizure outcome remains difficult. The aim of this study was to evaluate the seizure outcome in patients with drug-refractory TLE who underwent resective temporal lobe surgery (rTLS) and to determine features associated with unfavorable postsurgical seizure outcome.

METHODS Patients with medically refractory TLE who underwent rTLS between 2012 and 2017 were reviewed from the prospectively collected epilepsy surgery database. A retrospective analysis of clinical, radiological, neuropsychological, histopathological, and perioperative findings of 161 patients was performed. The patients were divided into two groups according to seizure outcome (group I, International League Against Epilepsy [ILAE] class 1; group II, ILAE class ≥ 2). For identification of independent risk factors for unfavorable postoperative seizure outcome (ILAE class ≥ 2), a multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed.

RESULTS Seizure freedom (ILAE class 1) was achieved in 121 patients (75.2%). The neuropsychological evaluation demonstrated that losses in cognitive performance were more pronounced in verbal memory after resections in the left temporal lobe and in nonverbal memory after right-sided resections, whereas attention improved after surgery. Overall, postoperative visual field deficits (VFDs) were common and occurred in 51% of patients. There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of VFD in patients with selective surgical procedures compared to the patients with nonselective procedures. The lack of MRI lesions and placement of depth electrodes were preoperatively identified as predictors for unfavorable seizure outcome.

CONCLUSIONS rTLS is an effective treatment method in patients with refractory TLE. However, patients with a lack of MRI lesions and placement of depth electrodes prior to rTLS are at higher risk for an unfavorable postsurgical seizure outcome.

What have we learned from 8 years of deep brain stimulation of the anterior thalamic nucleus? Experiences and insights of a single center

J Neurosurg 135:619–628, 2021

In the absence of a standard or guideline for the treatment of epilepsy patients with deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the anterior nucleus of the thalamus (ANT), systematic single-center investigations are essential to establish effective approaches. Here, the authors report on the long-term results of one of the largest single-center ANT DBS cohorts.

METHODS The outcome data of 23 consecutive patients with transventricularly implanted electrodes were retrospectively analyzed with regard to adverse events, lead placement, stimulation-related side effects, and changes in seizure frequency. Depression and quality-of-life scores were collected in a subgroup of 9 patients.

RESULTS All but 2 patients initially underwent bilateral implantation, and 84.4% of all DBS leads were successfully located within the ANT. The mean follow-up time was 46.57 ± 23.20 months. A seizure reduction > 50% was documented in 73.9% of patients, and 34.6% achieved an Engel class I outcome. In 3 patients, clinical response was achieved by switching the electrode contact or changing from the monopolar to bipolar stimulation mode. Unilateral implantation seemed ineffective, whereas bilateral stimulation with successful ANT implantation only on one side led to a clinical response. Double stimulation with additional vagus nerve stimulation was safe. Changes in cycling mode or stimulation amplitude influenced therapy tolerability and, only to a lesser extent, seizure frequency. Side effects were rare and typically vanished by lowering the stimulation amplitude or changing the active electrode contact. Furthermore, depression and aspects of quality of life significantly improved with ANT DBS treatment.

CONCLUSIONS The transventricular approach as well as double stimulation proved safe. The anteroventral ANT appeared to be the most efficacious stimulation site. This systematic investigation with reluctant medication changes allowed for the development of a better idea of the association between parameter changes and outcome in ANT DBS patients, but larger samples are still needed to assess the potential of bipolar stimulation and distinct cycling frequencies. Furthermore, more multifaceted and objective assessments of treatment outcome are needed to fully assess the effects of ANT DBS treatment.

Language network reorganization before and after temporal lobe epilepsy surgery

J Neurosurg 134:1694–1702, 2021

Epilepsy surgery is the recommended treatment option for patients with drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). This method offers a good chance of seizure freedom but carries a considerable risk of postoperative language impairment. The extremely variable neurocognitive profiles in surgical epilepsy patients cannot be fully explained by extent of resection, fiber integrity, or current task-based functional MRI (fMRI). In this study, the authors aimed to investigate pathology- and surgery-triggered language organization in TLE by using fMRI activation and network analysis as well as considering structural and neuropsychological measures.

METHODS Twenty-eight patients with unilateral TLE (16 right, 12 left) underwent T1-weighted imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, and task-based language fMRI pre- and postoperatively (n = 15 anterior temporal lobectomy, n = 11 selective amygdalohippocampectomy, n = 2 focal resection). Twenty-two healthy subjects served as the control cohort. Functional connectivity, activation maps, and laterality indices for language dominance were analyzed from fMRI data. Postoperative fractional anisotropy values of 7 major tracts were calculated. Naming, semantic, and phonematic verbal fluency scores before and after surgery were correlated with imaging parameters.

RESULTS fMRI network analysis revealed widespread, bihemispheric alterations in language architecture that were not captured by activation analysis. These network changes were found preoperatively and proceeded after surgery with characteristic patterns in the left and right TLEs. Ipsilesional fronto-temporal connectivity decreased in both left and right TLE. In left TLE specifically, preoperative atypical language dominance predicted better postoperative verbal fluency and naming function. In right TLE, left frontal language dominance correlated with good semantic verbal fluency before and after surgery, and left fronto-temporal language laterality predicted good naming outcome. Ongoing seizures after surgery (Engel classes ID–IV) were associated with naming deterioration irrespective of seizure side. Functional findings were not explained by the extent of resection or integrity of major white matter tracts.

CONCLUSIONS Functional connectivity analysis contributes unique insight into bihemispheric remodeling processes of language networks after epilepsy surgery, with characteristic findings in left and right TLE. Presurgical contralateral language recruitment is associated with better postsurgical language outcome in left and right TLE.

Seizure and neuropsychological outcomes in a large series of selective amygdalohippocampectomies with a minimally invasive subtemporal approach

J Neurosurg 134:1685–1693, 2021

Debate continues over proper surgical treatment for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE). Few large comprehensive studies exist that have examined outcomes for the subtemporal selective amygdalohippocampectomy (sSAH) approach. This study describes a minimally invasive technique for sSAH and examines seizure and neuropsychological outcomes in a large series of patients who underwent sSAH for MTLE.

METHODS Data for 152 patients (94 women, 61.8%; 58 men, 38.2%) who underwent sSAH performed by a single surgeon were retrospectively reviewed. The sSAH technique involves a small, minimally invasive opening and preserves the anterolateral temporal lobe and the temporal stem. RESULTS All patients in the study had at least 1 year of follow-up (mean [SD] 4.52 [2.57] years), of whom 57.9% (88/152) had Engel class I seizure outcomes. Of the patients with at least 2 years of follow-up (mean [SD] 5.2 [2.36] years), 56.5% (70/124) had Engel class I seizure outcomes. Preoperative and postoperative neuropsychological test results indicated no significant change in intelligence, verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, attention and processing, cognitive flexibility, visuospatial memory, or mood. There was a significant change in word retrieval regardless of the side of surgery and a significant change in verbal memory in patients who underwent dominant-side resection (p < 0.05). Complication rates were low, with a 1.3% (2/152) permanent morbidity rate and 0.0% mortality rate.

CONCLUSIONS This study reports a large series of patients who have undergone sSAH, with a comprehensive presentation of a minimally invasive technique. The sSAH approach described in this study appears to be a safe, effective, minimally invasive technique for the treatment of MTLE.

Predictors of early postoperative epileptic seizures after awake surgery in supratentorial diffuse gliomas

J Neurosurg 134:683–692, 2021

Functional-based resection under awake conditions had been associated with a nonnegligible rate of intraoperative and postoperative epileptic seizures. The authors assessed the incidence of intraoperative and early postoperative epileptic seizures after functional-based resection under awake conditions.

METHODS The authors prospectively assessed intraoperative and postoperative seizures (within 1 month) together with clinical, imaging, surgical, histopathological, and follow-up data for 202 consecutive diffuse glioma adult patients who underwent a functional-based resection under awake conditions.

RESULTS Intraoperative seizures occurred in 3.5% of patients during cortical stimulation; all resolved without any procedure being discontinued. No predictor of intraoperative seizures was identified. Early postoperative seizures occurred in 7.9% of patients at a mean of 5.1 ± 2.9 days. They increased the duration of hospital stay (p = 0.018), did not impact the 6-month (median 95 vs 100, p = 0.740) or the 2-year (median 100 vs 100, p = 0.243) postoperative Karnofsky Performance Status score and did not impact the 6-month (100% vs 91.4%, p = 0.252) or the 2-year (91.7 vs 89.4%, p = 0.857) postoperative seizure control. The time to treatment of at least 3 months (adjusted OR [aOR] 4.76 [95% CI 1.38–16.36], p = 0.013), frontal lobe involvement (aOR 4.88 [95% CI 1.25–19.03], p = 0.023), current intensity for intraoperative mapping of at least 3 mA (aOR 4.11 [95% CI 1.17–14.49], p = 0.028), and supratotal resection (aOR 6.24 [95% CI 1.43–27.29], p = 0.015) were independently associated with early postoperative seizures.

CONCLUSIONS Functional-based resection under awake conditions can be safely performed with a very low rate of intraoperative and early postoperative seizures and good 6-month and 2-year postoperative seizure outcomes. Intraoperatively, the use of the lowest current threshold producing reproducible responses is mandatory to reduce seizure occurrence intraoperatively and in the early postoperative period.

Corpus callosotomy performed with laser interstitial thermal therapy

J Neurosurg 134:314–322, 2021

Corpus callosotomy is a palliative procedure that is effective at reducing seizure burden in patients with medically refractory epilepsy. The procedure is traditionally performed via open craniotomy with interhemispheric microdissection to divide the corpus callosum. Concerns for morbidity associated with craniotomy can be a deterrent to patients, families, and referring physicians for surgical treatment of epilepsy. Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) is a less invasive procedure that has been widely adopted in neurosurgery for the treatment of tumors. In this study, the authors investigated LITT as a less invasive approach for corpus callosotomy.

METHODS The authors retrospectively reviewed all patients treated for medically refractory epilepsy by corpus callosotomy, either partial or completion, with LITT. Chart records were analyzed to summarize procedural metrics, length of stay, adverse events, seizure outcomes, and time to follow-up. In select cases, resting-state functional MRI was performed to qualitatively support effective functional disconnection of the cerebral hemispheres.

RESULTS Ten patients underwent 11 LITT procedures. Five patients received an anterior two-thirds LITT callosotomy as their first procedure. One patient returned after LITT partial callosotomy for completion of callosotomy by LITT. The median hospital stay was 2 days (IQR 1.5–3 days), and the mean follow-up time was 1.0 year (range 1 month to 2.86 years). Functional outcomes are similar to those of open callosotomy, with the greatest effect in patients with a significant component of drop attacks in their seizure semiology. One patient achieved an Engel class II outcome after anterior two-thirds callosotomy resulting in only rare seizures at the 18-month follow-up. Four others were in Engel class III and 5 were Engel class IV. Hemorrhage occurred in 1 patient at the time of removal of the laser fiber, which was placed through the bone flap of a prior open partial callosotomy.

CONCLUSIONS LITT appears to be a safe and effective means for performing corpus callosotomy. Additional data are needed to confirm equipoise between open craniotomy and LITT for corpus callosotomy.

Cerebrospinal fluid disturbances after transcallosal surgery: incidence and predictive factors

J Neurosurg 133:979–987, 2020

CSF dynamics after transcallosal resection of intraventricular lesions can be altered, and the need for shunt implantation complicates the management of these patients. Because the pathophysiological mechanism and contributing factors are poorly understood and the incidence has largely not been described, the authors conducted a study to elucidate these factors.

METHODS The authors retrospectively reviewed data from patients who had been operated on at their institution via a transcallosal approach between March 2002 and December 2016. They evaluated the need for a shunt implantation up to 3 months after surgery by assessing clinical variables. These variables were age at surgery, the need for perioperative external CSF drainage, histology of the lesion, and the following radiological parameters: pre- and postoperative Evans index, maximal postoperative extension of subdural effusions (SDEs) measured on axial images, and maximal interhemispheric fissure (IHF) width measured on coronal images assessed at 4 different points in time (preoperatively, day 1, days 2–4, and days 4–8 after surgery). To identify potential risk factors, univariate and multivariate regression models were constructed. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves for significant predictors, as well as the area under the curve (AUC), were calculated.

RESULTS Seventy-four patients (40 female and 34 male) were identified; their median age at surgery was 17.6 years (range 4 months to 76 years). Shunt implantation was necessary in 13 patients (ventriculoperitoneal [VP] shunt, n = 7; subdural peritoneal [SDP] shunt, n = 6) after a median interval of 24 days (range 10 days to 3 months). Univariate logistic regression models revealed a significant effect of IHF width on days 4–8 (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.03–1.66; p = 0.027), extension of SDE on days 2–4 (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.11–1 0.60; p = 0.003), and age (OR 0.932, 95% CI 0.88–0.99; p = 0.02). In the multiple regression model, the effect of the independent variable extension of the SDE remained significant. ROC curves for the predictors IHF width on days 4–8 and extension of SDE on days 2–4 revealed an AUC equal to 0.732 and 0.752, respectively. Before shunt implantation, the ventricles were smaller compared to the preoperative size in 9 of the 13 patients (SDP shunt, n = 5; VP shunt, n = 4).

CONCLUSIONS The rate of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus 3 months after surgery in this heterogeneous group of patients was 17.6% (95% CI 9.7%–28.2%). The authors identified as predictive factors the variables extension of the convexity space, IHF 1 week after surgery, and younger age.


Deep Brain Stimulation in Epilepsy: A Role for Modulation of the Mammillothalamic Tract in Seizure Control?

Neurosurgery DOI:10.1093/neuros/nyaa141

Deep brain stimulation of the anterior nucleus of the thalamus (ANT-DBS) can improve seizure control for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE). Yet, one cannot overlook the high discrepancy in efficacy among patients, possibly resulting from differences in stimulation site.

OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that stimulation at the junction of the ANT and mammillothalamic tract (ANT-MTT junction) increases seizure control.

METHODS: The relationship between seizure control and the location of the active contacts to the ANT-MTT junction was investigated in 20 patients treated with ANT-DBS for DRE. Coordinates and Euclidean distance of the active contacts relative to the ANT-MTT junction were calculated and related to seizure control. Stimulation sites were mapped by modelling the volume of tissue activation (VTA) and generating stimulation heat maps. RESULTS: After 1 yr of stimulation, patients had a median 46% reduction in total seizure frequency, 50% were responders, and 20% of patients were seizure-free. The Euclidean distance of the active contacts to the ANT-MTT junction correlates to change in seizure frequency (r 2 = 0.24, P = .01) and is ∼30% smaller (P = .015) in responders than in non-responders. VTA models and stimulation heat maps indicate a hot-spot at the ANT-MTT junction for responders, whereas non-responders had no evident hot-spot. C

CONCLUSION: Stimulation at the ANT-MTT junction correlates to increased seizure control. Our findings suggest a relationship between the stimulation site and therapy response in ANT-DBS for epilepsy with a potential role for the MTT. DBS directed at white matter merits further exploration for the treatment of epilepsy.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Guided Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy for Epilepsy

Neurosurgery 86 (4) E366–E382 2020

For patients with focal drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE), surgical resection of the epileptogenic zone (EZ) may offer seizure freedom and benefits for quality of life. Yet, concerns remain regarding invasiveness, morbidity, and neurocognitive side effects. Magnetic resonance-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (MRgLITT) has emerged as a less invasive option for stereotactic ablation rather than resection of the EZ.

OBJECTIVE: To provide an introduction to MRgLITT for epilepsy, including historical development, surgical technique, and role in therapy.

METHODS: The development of MRgLITT is briefly recounted. A systematic review identified reported techniques and indication-specific outcomes of MRgLITT for DRE in human studies regardless of sample size or follow-up duration. Potential advantages and disadvantages compared to available alternatives for each indication are assessed in an unstructured review.

RESULTS: Techniques and outcomes are reported for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, hypothalamic hamartoma, focal cortical dysplasia, nonlesional epilepsy, tuberous sclerosis, periventricular nodular heterotopia, cerebral cavernous malformations, poststroke epilepsy, temporal encephalocele, and corpus callosotomy.

CONCLUSION: MRgLITT offers access to foci virtually anywhere in the brain with minimal disruption of the overlying cortex and white matter, promising fewer neurological side effects and less surgical morbidity and pain. Compared to other ablative techniques, MRgLITT offers immediate, discrete lesions with real-time monitoring of temperature beyond the fiber tip for damage estimates and off-target injury prevention. Applications of MRgLITT for epilepsy are growing rapidly and, although more evidence of safety and efficacy is needed, there are potential advantages for some patients.

Open Resection versus Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy for the Treatment of Pediatric Insular Epilepsy

Various studies suggest that the insular cortex may play an underappreciated role in pediatric frontotemporal/parietal epilepsy. Here, we report on the postsurgical outcomes in 26 pediatric patients with confirmed insular involvement by depth electrode monitoring.

OBJECTIVE: To describe one of the largest series of pediatric patients with medically refractory epilepsy undergoing laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) or surgical resection of at least some portion of the insular cortex.

METHODS: Pediatric patients in whom invasive insular sampling confirmed insular involvement and who subsequently underwent a second stage surgery (LITT or open resection) were included. Complications and Engel Class outcomes at least 1 yr postsurgery were compiled as well as pathology results in the open surgical cases.

RESULTS: The average age in our cohort was 10.3 yr, 58% were male, and the average length of follow-up was 2.43 ± 0.20 (SEM) yr. A total of 14 patients underwent LITT, whereas 12 patients underwent open resection. Complications in patients undergoing either LITT or open resection were mostly minimal and generally transient. Forty-three percent of patients who underwent LITT were Engel Class I, compared to 50% of patients who underwent open insular resection.

CONCLUSION: Both surgical resection and LITT are valid management options in the treatment of medically refractory insular/opercular epilepsy in children. Although LITTmay be a less invasive alternative to craniotomy, further studies are needed to determine its noninferiority in terms of complication rates and seizure freedom, especially in cases of cortical dysplasia that may involve extensive regions of the brain.