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.