The Impact of Extent of Ablation on Survival of Patients With Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma Treated With Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy

Neurosurgery 93:427–435, 2023

Upfront laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) can be used as part of the treatment paradigm in difficult-to-access newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (ndGBM) cases. The extent of ablation, though, is not routinely quantified; thus, its specific effect on patients’ oncological outcomes is unclear.

OBJECTIVE: To methodically measure the extent of ablation in the cohort of patients with ndGBM and its effect, and other treatment-related parameters, on patients’ progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).

METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted on 56 isocitrate dehydrogenase 1/2 wild-type patients with ndGBM treated with upfront LITT between 2011 and 2021. Patient data including demographics, oncological course, and LITTassociated parameters were analyzed.

RESULTS: Patient median age was 62.3 years (31-84), and the median follow-up duration was 11.4 months. As expected, the subgroup of patients receiving full chemoradiation was found to have the most beneficial PFS and OS (n = 34). Further analysis showed that 10 of them underwent near-total ablation and had a significantly improved PFS (10.3 months) and OS (22.7 months). Notably, 84% excess ablation was detected which was not related to a higher rate of neurological deficits. Tumor volume was also found to influence PFS and OS, but it was not possible to further corroborate this finding because of low numbers.

CONCLUSION: This study presents data analysis of the largest series of ndGBM treated with upfront LITT. Near-total ablation was shown to significantly benefit patients’ PFS and OS. Importantly, it was shown to be safe, even in cases of excess ablation and therefore could be considered when using this modality to treat ndGBM.

Risk of Tract Seeding Following Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy for Brain Tumors

Neurosurgery 93:198–205, 2023

The management of intracranial oncological disease remains a significant challenge despite advances in systemic cancer therapy. Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) represents a novel treatment for local control of brain tumors through photocoagulation with a stereotactically implanted laser fiber. Because the use of laser interstitial thermal therapy continues to increase within neurosurgery, characterization of LITT is necessary to improve outcomes.

OBJECTIVE: To quantify the risk of tumor seeding along the laser fiber tract in patients receiving LITT for primary or metastatic brain tumors at a high-volume treatment center.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed all patients receiving LITT from 2015 to 2021 at our medical center. Patients with biopsy-confirmed tumors were included in this study. Tract seeding was identified as discontinuous, newly enhancing tumor along the LITT tract.

RESULTS: Fifty-six patients received LITT for biopsy-confirmed tumors from 2015 to 2021, with tract seeding identified in 3 (5.4%). Twenty-nine (51.8%) patients had gliomas, while the remainder had metastases, of which lung was the most common histology (20 patients, 74%). Tract seeding was associated with ablation proceeding inward from superficial tumor margin closest to the cranial entry point (P = .03). Patients with tract seeding had a shorter median time to progression of 1.1 (0.1-1.3) months vs 4.2 (2.2-8.6) months (P = .03).

CONCLUSION: Although the risk of tract seeding after LITT is reassuringly low, it is associated with decreased progression-free survival. This risk may be related to surgical technique or experience. Follow-up radiosurgery to the LITT tract has the potential to prevent this complication.

Stereotactic robot‑assisted MRI‑guided laser interstitial thermal therapy thalamotomy for medically intractable Parkinson’s disease tremor

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:1453–1460

Medically intractable Parkinson’s disease (PD) tremor is a common difficult clinical situation with major impact on patient’s quality of life (QOL). Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an effective therapy but is not an option for many patients. Less invasive lesional brain surgery procedures, such as thalamotomy, have proven to be effective in these indications. Here, we describe the technical nuances and advantages of stereotactic robot-assisted MRI-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (MRIg-LITT) thalamotomy for medically intractable PD tremor.

Method We describe 2 patients with medically intractable PD tremor treated with stereotactic robot-assisted MRIg-LITT thalamotomy performed under general anesthesia with intraoperative electrophysiological testing. Pre and postoperative tremor scores were assessed using the Fahn-Tolosa-Marin tremor rating scale (TRS).

Results At 3-month follow-up, both patients demonstrated significant improvement in tremor symptoms subjectively and according to the TRS (75% for both). Patients also had substantial improvements in their QOL (32.54% and 38%) according to the 39-item PD questionnaire. Both patients underwent uncomplicated MRIg-LITT thalamotomy.

Conclusions In patients with medically intractable PD tremor who are unsuitable candidates for DBS, thalamotomy utilizing a stereotactic robot, intraoperative electrophysiological testing, and laser ablation with real-time MRI guidance may be a viable treatment option. However, further studies with larger sample sizes and longer follow-up periods are necessary to confirm these preliminary results.

Laser interstitial thermal therapy in the treatment of brain metastases: the relationship between changes in postoperative magnetic resonance imaging characteristics and tumor recurrence

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:1379–1387

Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) has been used to treat brain metastases (BMs) in several countries, and its safety and effectiveness have been confirmed. In most cases, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) reveals an increase in tumor volume with an enhanced margin after LITT. However, little is known about the relationship between this MRI change and tumor recurrence.

Objective We report the first case series of BMs treated by LITT in China to evaluate the clinical characteristics and predictive factors of tumor recurrence.

Material and methods Patients with less than four brain metastatic lesions and a Karnofsky performance status (KPS) > 70 were eligible for study inclusion. Standard LITT procedures were performed, and a follow-up MRI was performed to analyze the radiographic changes, especially the volume ratio of the enhanced margin and the whole lesion on MRI at 30 days postoperatively. All the volume-related data were delineated and calculated using 3D Slicer software. Related predictors were also collected to evaluate the correlation with local tumor control.

Results Eighteen patients with nineteen lesions were enrolled for treatment and follow-up. Primary tumor histology included pulmonary carcinoma (n = 11) and breast cancer (n = 4). On average, the tumor size measured 3.01 cm3 (range, 0.40–7.40 cm3), the total ablation time was 13.58 min (range, 2.88–37.15 min), and the complete ablation rate was 92.4% (range, 29.2–100%). Comparing 3s0-day follow-up MRI results with preoperative MRI findings, 18 lesions showed a 2.28-fold (range, 1.21–4.88) volume increase; all the lesions displayed an enhanced component with a volume ratio of 42.35% (range, 10.14–100%). Five patients experienced tumor recurrence, and the local tumor control rates at 90 days and 180 days of followup were 68.4% and 66.7%, respectively. Univariate analysis indicated that the primary tumor, ablation rate, and enhanced volume ratio (EVR) > 40% in the 30-day MRI were associated with tumor recurrence, whereas multivariate analysis showed that only EVR > 40% was a predictive factor of local control.

Conclusion LITT is a minimally invasive method used to ablate brain metastases which can be used as the first-line treatment for BM patients under certain indications. After LITT, most tumors showed volume enlargement on the 30-day MRI scan, and EVR > 40% on the 30-day MRI may indicate late tumor recurrence.

Newly Diagnosed Adult Basal Ganglia Gliomas Treated With Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy

Operative Neurosurgery 24:383–390, 2023

Few cytoreductive surgical tools are available for newly diagnosed basal ganglia gliomas. Current reports showed high associated morbidity and mortality. Given their deep localization, laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) is still a rare indication. Moreover, few reports account for which of the available options have better outcomes.

OBJECTIVE: To retrospectively analyze our experience with LITT and compare its safety, feasibility, and efficacy with needle biopsy for the management of adult basal ganglia gliomas.

METHODS: Twenty-two patients with gliomas from the midline (e.g. thalamus and lenticular nucleus) managed with either LITT/biopsy or needle biopsy from 2015 to 2021 were included. Records regarding location, diagnosis, Karnofsky Performance Score, length of hospital stay, preoperative lesion and ablation volume, perioperative complications, and data of adjuvant treatment were collected. Overall survival was evaluated with Kaplan-Meier analysis.

RESULTS: Seven patients had LITT, and 15 underwent biopsy. The overall mean age was 60.9 years (25-82 years). The average tumor volume in the former was 16.99 cm3 and 17.65 cm3 in the latter. No postsurgical complications were found in the LITT group, and 1 patient had a postsurgical hemorrhage after biopsy. The mean overall survival was 20.28 ± 9.63 months in the LITT group, which was greater but not statistically significant than in the biopsy group (13.85 ± 4.48 months; P = .78).

CONCLUSION: Our results show that laser ablation may be both feasible and safe in adult basal ganglia gliomas. Given the lack of safe cytoreductive treatment options, LITT should be considered as a valid choice for these patients.

Laser interstitial thermal therapy using the Leksell Stereotactic System and a diagnostic MRI suite

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:549–554

Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) is a stereotactic neurosurgical procedure used to treat neoplastic and epileptogenic lesions in the brain. A variety of advanced technological instruments such as frameless navigation systems, robotics, and intraoperative MRI are often described in this context, although the surgical procedure can also be performed using a standard stereotactic setup and a diagnostic MRI suite.

Methods We report on our experience and a surgical technique using a Leksell stereotactic frame and a diagnostic MRI suite to perform LITT.

Conclusion LITT can be safely performed using the Leksell frame and a diagnostic MRI suite, making the technique available even to neuro-oncology centers without advanced technological setup.

Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy for First-Line Treatment of Surgically Accessible Recurrent Glioblastoma: Outcomes Compared With a Surgical Cohort

Neurosurgery 91:701–709, 2022

Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) for glioblastoma (GBM) has been reserved for poor surgical candidates and deep “inoperable” lesions. We present the first reported series of LITT for surgically accessible recurrent GBM (rGBM) that would otherwise be treated with surgical resection.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the use of LITT for unifocal, lobar, first-time rGBM compared with a similar surgical cohort.

METHODS: A retrospective institutional database was used to identify patients with unifocal, lobar, first-time rGBM who underwent LITT or resection between 2013 and 2020. Clinical and volumetric lesional characteristics were compared between cohorts. Subgroup analysis of patients with lesions ≤20 cm 3 was also completed. Primary outcomes were overall survival and progression-free survival.

RESULTS: Of the 744 patients with rGBM treated from 2013 to 2020, a LITT cohort of 17 patients were compared with 23 similar surgical patients. There were no differences in baseline characteristics, although lesions were larger in the surgical cohort (7.54 vs 4.37 cm3 , P = .017). Despite differences in lesion size, both cohorts had similar extents of ablation/resection (90.7% vs 95.1%, P = .739). Overall survival (14.1 vs 13.8 months, P = .578) and progression-free survival (3.7 vs 3.3 months, P = 0. 495) were similar. LITT patients had significantly shorter hospital stays (2.2 vs 3.0 days, P = .004). Subgroup analysis of patients with lesions ≤20 cm 3 showed similar outcomes, with LITT allowing for significantly shorter hospital stays.

CONCLUSION: We found no difference in survival outcomes or morbidity between LITT and repeat surgery for surgically accessible rGBM while LITT resulted in shorter hospital stays and more efficient postoperative care.



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.


A stereotactic frame‐based drill guide‐aided setting for laser interstitial thermal therapy

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:3447–3453

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (MRIgLITT) was demonstrated to be a viable neurosurgical tool. Apart from its variety of indications, different operative and technical nuances exist. In the present report, for the first time, the use and ability of a traditional Riechert-Mundinger (RM) stereotactic system combined with a novel drill guide kit for MRIgLITT are described.

Methods A stereotactic frame-based setting was developed by combining an RM system with a drill guide kit and centering bone anchor screwing aid for application together with an MRIgLITT neuro-accessory kit and cooled laser applicator system. The apparatus was used for stereotactic biopsy and consecutive MRIgLITT with an intraoperative high-field MRI scanner in a brain tumor case.

Results The feasibility of an RM stereotactic apparatus and a drill guide kit for MRIgLITT was successfully assessed. Both stereotactic biopsy and subsequent MRIgLITT in a neurooncological patient could easily and safely be performed. No technical problems or complications were observed.

Conclusion The combination of a traditional RM stereotactic system, a new drill guide tool, and intraoperative high-field MRI provides neurosurgeons with the opportunity to reliably confirm the diagnosis by frame-based biopsy and allows for stable and accurate real-time MRIgLITT.

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.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Guided Stereotactic Laser Ablation of Deep Cerebral Cavernous Malformations

Neurosurgery 89:635–644, 2021

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (MRgLITT) has been used successfully to treat epileptogenic cortical cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM). It is unclear whether MRgLITT would be as feasible or safe for deep CCMs

OBJECTIVE: To describe our experience with MRgLITT for symptomatic deep CCMs

METHODS: Patients’records were reviewed retrospectively. MRgLITT was carried out using a commercially available system in an interventional MRI suite with efforts to protect adjacent brain structures. Immediate postoperative imaging was used to judge ablation adequacy. Delayed postoperative MRI was used to measure lesion volume changes during follow-up.

RESULTS: Four patients with CCM in the thalamus, putamen, midbrain, or subthalamus presented with persistent and disabling neurological symptoms. A total of 2 patients presented with disabling headaches and sensory disturbances and 2 with recurrent symptomatic hemorrhages, of which 1 had familial CCM. Patients were considered by vascular neurosurgeons to be poor candidates for open surgery or had refused it. Multiple trajectories were used in most cases. Adverse events included device malfunction with leakage of saline causing transient mass effect in one patient, and asymptomatic tract hemorrhage in another. One patient suffered an expected mild but persistent exacerbation of baseline deficits. All patients showed improvement from a previously aggressive clinical course with lesion volume decreased by 20% to 73% in follow-up.

CONCLUSION: MRgLITT is feasible in the treatment of symptomatic deep CCM but may carry a high risk of complications without the benefit of definitive resection. We recommend cautious patient selection, low laser power settings, and conservative temper- ature monitoring in surrounding brain parenchyma.

MRI-guided stereotactic laser corpus callosotomy for epilepsy

J Neurosurg 135:770–782, 2021

Several small series have described stereotactic MRI-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy for partial callosotomy of astatic and generalized tonic-clonic (GTC) seizures, especially in association with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Larger case series and comparison of distinct stereotactic methods for stereotactic laser corpus callosotomy (SLCC), however, are currently lacking. The objective of this study was to report seizure outcomes in a series of adult patients with epilepsy following anterior, posterior, and complete SLCC procedures and to compare the results achieved with a frameless stereotactic surgical robot versus direct MRI guidance frames.

METHODS The authors retrospectively reviewed sequential adult epilepsy surgery patients who underwent SLCC procedures at a single institution. They describe workflows, stereotactic errors, percentage disconnection, hospitalization durations, adverse events, and seizure outcomes after performing anterior, posterior, and complete SLCC procedures using a frameless stereotactic surgical robot versus direct MRI guidance platforms.

RESULTS Thirteen patients underwent 15 SLCC procedures. The median age at surgery was 29 years (range 20–49 years), the median duration of epilepsy was 21 years (range 9–48 years), and median postablation follow-up was 20 months (range 4–44 months). Ten patients underwent anterior SLCC with a median 73% (range 33%–80%) midsagittal length of callosum acutely ablated. Following anterior SLCC, 6 of 10 patients achieved meaningful (> 50%) reduction of target seizures. Four patients underwent posterior (completion) SLCC following prior anterior callosotomy, and 1 patient underwent complete SLCC as a single procedure; 3 of these 5 patients experienced meaningful reduction of target seizures. Overall, 8 of 10 patients in whom astatic seizures were targeted and treated by anterior and/or posterior SLCC experienced meaningful improvement. SLCC procedures with direct MRI guidance (n = 7) versus a frameless surgical robot (n = 8) yielded median radial accuracies of 1.1 mm (range 0.2–2.0 mm) versus 2.4 mm (range 0.6–6.1 mm; p = 0.0011). The most serious adverse event was a clinically significant intraparenchymal hemorrhage in a patient who underwent the robotic technique.

CONCLUSIONS This is the largest reported series of SLCC for epilepsy to date. SLCC provides seizure outcomes comparable to open surgery outcomes reported in the literature. Direct MRI guidance is more accurate, which has the potential to reduce the risks of SLCC. Methodological advancements and larger studies are needed.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Guided Laser Thermal Ventral Capsulotomy for Intractable Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Neurosurgery 88:1128–1135, 2021

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a disabling condition characterized by intrusive thoughts and repetitive behaviors. A subset of individuals have severe, treatment-resistant illness and are nonresponsive to medication or behavioral therapies. Without response to conventional therapeutic options, surgical intervention becomes an appropriate consideration.

OBJECTIVE: To report clinical outcomes and the safety profile of bilateral ventral anterior capsulotomy for OCD using magnetic resonance (MR)-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) in 10 patients followed for 6 to 24 mo.

METHODS: A total of 10 patients underwent LITT for severe OCD; 1 patient withdrew prior to follow-up. LITT is a minimally invasive ablative technique performed with precise targeting and use of thermography under MR guidance. Lesions of the ventral anterior limb of the internal capsule by other techniques have been shown to be efficacious in prior studies.

RESULTS: A total of 7 of the 9 patients were considered full responders (77.8%; Yale- Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale change ≥35%). Adverse effects included transient apathy/amotivation postsurgery (2 patients). One patient had a small tract hemorrhage where the laser fiber traversed the cerebral cortex as well as persistent insomnia postsurgery. One individual died after a drug overdose 7 mo postsurgery, which was judged unrelated to the surgery.

CONCLUSION: LITT ventral capsulotomy was generally well tolerated, with promising evidence of effectiveness in the largest such series to date. Results were comparable to those after gamma knife ventral capsulotomy, as well as ventral anterior limb deep brain stimulation.


Spinal laser interstitial thermal therapy: single-center experience and outcomes in the first 120 cases

J Neurosurg Spine 34:354–363, 2021

The objective of this study was to present the results of a consecutive series of 120 cases treated with spinal laser interstitial thermal therapy (sLITT) to manage epidural spinal cord compression (ESCC) from metastatic tumors.

METHODS The electronic records of patients treated from 2013 to 2019 were analyzed retrospectively. Data collected included demographic, pathology, clinical, operative, and imaging findings; degree of epidural compression before and after sLITT; length of hospital stay; complications; and duration before subsequent oncological treatment. Independent-sample t-tests were used to compare means between pre- and post-sLITT treatments. Survival was estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method. Multivariate logistic regression was used to analyze predictive factors for local recurrence and neurological complications.

RESULTS There were 110 patients who underwent 120 sLITT procedures. Spinal levels treated included 5 cervical, 8 lumbar, and 107 thoracic. The pre-sLITT Frankel grades were E (91.7%), D (6.7%), and C (1.7%). The preoperative ESCC grade was 1c or higher in 92% of cases. Metastases were most common from renal cell carcinoma (39%), followed by non–small cell lung carcinoma (10.8%) and other tumors (35%). The most common location of ESCC was in the vertebral body (88.3%), followed by paraspinal/foraminal (7.5%) and posterior elements (4.2%). Adjuvant radiotherapy (spinal stereotactic radiosurgery or conventional external beam radiation therapy) was performed in 87 cases (72.5%), whereas 33 procedures (27.5%) were performed as salvage after radiotherapy options were exhausted. sLITT was performed without need for spinal stabilization in 87 cases (72.5%). Post-sLITT Frankel grades were E (85%), D (10%), C (4.2%), and B (0.8%); treatment was associated with a median decrease of 2 ESCC grades. The local control rate at 1 year was 81.7%. Local control failure occurred in 25 cases (20.8%). The median progression-free survival was not reached, and overall survival was 14 months. Tumor location in the paraspinal region and salvage treatment were independent predictors of local recurrence, with hazard ratios of 6.3 and 3.3, respectively (p = 0.01). Complications were observed in 22 cases (18.3%). sLITT procedures performed in the lumbar and cervical spine had hazard ratios for neurological complications of 15.4 and 17.1 (p < 0.01), respectively, relative to the thoracic spine.

CONCLUSIONS sLITT is safe and provides effective local control for high-grade ESCC from vertebral metastases in the thoracic spine, particularly when combined with adjuvant radiotherapy. The authors propose considering sLITT as an alternative to open surgery in selected patients with spinal metastases.


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.

Laser Ablation of Abnormal Neurological Tissue Using Robotic NeuroBlate System (LAANTERN): 12-Month Outcomes and Quality of Life After Brain Tumor Ablation

Neurosurgery 87:E338–E346, 2020

Laser Ablation of Abnormal Neurological Tissue using Robotic NeuroBlate System (LAANTERN) is an ongoing multicenter prospective NeuroBlate (Monteris Medical) LITT (laser interstitial thermal therapy) registry collecting real-world outcomes and quality- of-life (QoL) data.

OBJECTIVE: To compare 12-mo outcomes from all subjects undergoing LITT for intracranial tumors/neoplasms.

METHODS: Demographics, intraprocedural data, adverse events, QoL, hospitalizations, health economics, and survival data are collected; standard data management and monitoring occur.

RESULTS: A total of 14 centers enrolled 223 subjects; the median follow-up was 223 d. There were 119 (53.4%) females and 104 (46.6%) males. The median age was 54.3 yr (range 3-86) and 72.6% had at least 1 baseline comorbidity. The median baseline Karnofsky Performance Score (KPS) was 90. Of the ablated tumors, 131 were primary and 92 were metastatic. Most patients with primary tumors had high-grade gliomas (80.9%). Patients with metastatic cancer had recurrence (50.6%) or radiation necrosis (40%). The median postprocedure hospital stay was 33.4 h (12.7-733.4). The 1-yr estimated survival rate was 73%, and this was not impacted by disease etiology. Patient-reported QoL as assessed by the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Brain was stabilized postprocedure. KPS declined by an average of 5.7 to 10.5 points postprocedure; however, 50.5% had stabilized/improved KPS at 6 mo. There were no significant differences in KPS or QoL between patients with metastatic vs primary tumors.

CONCLUSION: Results from the ongoing LAANTERN registry demonstrate that LITT stabi- lizes and improves QoL from baseline levels in a malignant brain tumor patient population with high rates of comorbidities. Overall survival was better than anticipated for a real- world registry and comparative to published literature.

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.

Laser Ablation of Abnormal Neurological Tissue Using Robotic Neuroblate System (LAANTERN)

Neurosurgery 86:538–547, 2020

Stereotactic laser ablation (SLA) has demonstrated potential utility for a spectrum of difficult to treat neurosurgical pathologies in multiple small and/or retrospective single-institutional series. Here, we present the safety profile of SLA of intracranial lesions from the Laser Ablation of Abnormal Neurological Tissue using Robotic NeuroBlate System (LAANTERN; Monteris Medical) multi-institutional, international prospective observational registry.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the procedural safety of SLA for intracranial lesions.

METHODS: Prospective procedural safety and hospitalization data from the first 100 treated LAANTERN patients was collected and analyzed.

RESULTS: Mean age and baseline Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) were 51(±17) yr and 83(± 15), respectively. In total, 81.2% of patients had undergone prior surgical or radiation treatment. Most patients had a single lesion (79%) ablated through 1 burr hole (1.2±0.7 per patient), immediately following a lesion biopsy. In total, >90% of the lesion was ablated in 72% of treated lesions. Average total procedural time was 188.2 ± 69.6 min, and average blood loss was 17.7 ± 55.6 ccs. The average length of intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital stays before discharge were 38.1 ± 62.7 h and 61.1 ± 87.2 h, respectively. There were 5 adverse events (AEs) attributable to SLA (5/100; 5%). After the procedure, 84.8% of patients were discharged home. There was 1 mortality within 30 d of the procedure (1/100; 1%), which was not attributable to SLA.

CONCLUSION: SLA is a safe, minimally invasive procedure with favorable postprocedural ICU and hospital utilization profiles.