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.

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.

Three-dimensional neuronavigation in SEEG-guided epilepsy surgery

Acta Neurochirurgica (2019) 161:917–923

Epilepsy surgery is mainly cortical surgery and the precise definition of the epileptogenic zone on the complex cortical surface is of paramount importance. Stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) may delineate the epileptogenic zone even in cases of non-lesional epilepsy. The aim of our study was to present a technique of 3D neuronavigation based on the brain surface and SEEG electrodes reconstructions using FSL and 3DSlicer software.
Patients and methods Our study included 26 consecutive patients operated on for drug-resistant epilepsy after SEEG exploration between January 2015 and December 2017. All patients underwent 1.5 T pre-SEEG MRI, post-SEEG CT, DICOM data post- processing using FSL and 3DSlicer, preoperative planning on 3DSlicer, and intraoperative 3D neuronavigation. Accuracy and precision of 3D SEEG reconstruction and 3D neuronavigation was assessed.
Results We identified 125 entry points of SEEG electrodes during 26 operations. The accuracy of 3D reconstruction was 0.8 mm (range, 0–2 mm) with a precision of 1.5 mm. The accuracy of 3D SEEG neuronavigation was 2.68 mm (range, 0–6 mm). The precision of 3D neuronavigation was 1.48 mm.
Conclusion 3D neuronavigation for SEEG-guided epilepsy surgery using free software for post-processing of common MRI sequences is possible and a reliable method even with navigation systems without a brain extraction tool.

Ultrasonographic features of focal cortical dysplasia and their relevance for epilepsy surgery

Neurosurg Focus 45 (3):E5, 2018

Surgery has proven to be the best therapeutic option for drug-refractory cases of focal cortical dysplasia (FCD)–associated epilepsy. Seizure outcome primarily depends on the completeness of resection, rendering the intraoperative FCD identification and delineation particularly important. This study aims to assess the diagnostic yield of intraoperative ultrasound (IOUS) in surgery for FCD-associated drug-refractory epilepsy.

METHODS The authors prospectively enrolled 15 consecutive patients with drug-refractory epilepsy who underwent an IOUS-assisted microsurgical resection of a radiologically suspected FCD between January 2013 and July 2016. The findings of IOUS were compared with those of presurgical MRI postprocessing and the sonographic characteristics were analyzed in relation to the histopathological findings. The authors investigated the added value of IOUS in achieving completeness of resection and improving postsurgical seizure outcome.

RESULTS The neurosurgeon was able to identify the dysplastic tissue by IOUS in all cases. The visualization of FCD type I was more challenging compared to FCD II and the demarcation of its borders was less clear. Postsurgical MRI showed residual dysplasia in 2 of the 3 patients with FCD type I. In all FCD type II cases, IOUS allowed for a clear intraoperative visualization and demarcation, strongly correlating with presurgical MRI postprocessing. Postsurgical MRI confirmed complete resection in all FCD type II cases. Sonographic features correlated with the histopathological classification of dysplasia (sonographic abnormalities increase continuously in the following order: FCD IA/IB, FCD IC, FCD IIA, FCD IIB). In 1 patient with IOUS features atypical for FCD, histopathological investigation showed nonspecific gliosis.

CONCLUSIONS Morphological features of FCD, as identified by IOUS, correlate well with advanced presurgical imaging. The resolution of IOUS was superior to MRI in all FCD types. The appreciation of distinct sonographic features on IOUS allows the intraoperative differentiation between FCD and non-FCD lesions as well as the discrimination of different histological subtypes of FCD. Sonographic demarcation depends on the underlying degree of dysplasia. IOUS allows for more tailored resections by facilitating the delineation of the dysplastic tissue.

Surgical strategy to avoid ischemic complications of the pyramidal tract in resective epilepsy surgery of the insula

J Neurosurg 128:1173–1177, 2018

Surgical treatment of the insula is notorious for its high probability of motor complications, particularly when resecting the superoposterior part. Ischemic damage to the pyramidal tract in the corona radiata has been regarded as the cause of these complications, resulting from occlusion of the perforating arteries to the pyramidal tract through the insular cortex. The authors describe a strategy in which a small piece of gray matter is spared at the bottom of the periinsular sulcus, where the perforating arteries pass en route to the pyramidal tract, in order to avoid these complications.

This method was successfully applied in 3 patients harboring focal cortical dysplasia in the posterior insula and frontoparietal operculum surrounding the periinsular sulcus. None of the patients developed permanent postoperative motor deficits, and seizure control was achieved in all 3 cases.

The method described in this paper can be adopted for functional preservation of the pyramidal tract in the corona radiata when resecting epileptogenic pathologies involving insular and opercular regions.


Long-term surgical results of supplementary motor area epilepsy surgery

J Neurosurg 127:1153–1159, 2017

Supplementary motor area (SMA) epilepsy is a well-known clinical condition; however, long-term surgical outcome reports are scarce and correspond to small series or isolated case reports. The aim of this study is to present the surgical results of SMA epilepsy patients treated at 2 reference centers in Mexico City.

METHODS For this retrospective descriptive study (1999–2014), 52 patients underwent lesionectomy and/or corticectomy of the SMA that was guided by electrocorticography (ECoG). The clinical, neurophysiological, neuroimaging, and pathological findings are described. The Engel scale was used to classify surgical outcome. Descriptive statistics, Student t-test, and Friedman, Kruskal-Wallis, and chi-square tests were used.

RESULTS Of these 52 patients, the mean age at epilepsy onset was 26.3 years, and the mean preoperative seizure frequency was 14 seizures per month. Etiologies included low-grade tumors in 28 (53.8%) patients, cortical dysplasia in 17 (32.7%) patients, and cavernomas in 7 (13.5%) patients. At a mean follow-up of 5.7 years (range 1–10 years), 32 patients (61%) were classified as Engel Class I, 16 patients (31%) were classified as Engel Class II, and 4 (8%) patients were classified as Engel Class III. Overall seizure reduction was significant (p = 0.001). The absence of early postsurgical seizures and lesional etiology were associated with the outcome of Engel Class I (p = 0.05). Twenty-six (50%) patients had complications in the immediate postoperative period, all of which resolved completely with no residual neurological deficits.

CONCLUSIONS Surgery for SMA epilepsy guided by ECoG using a multidisciplinary and multimodality approach is a safe, feasible procedure that shows good seizure control, moderate morbidity, and no mortality.

Stereoelectroencephalography Using Magnetic Resonance Angiography for Avascular Trajectory Planning

Neurosurgery 81:688–695, 2017

Stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) requires high-quality angiographic studies because avascular trajectory planning is a prerequisite for the safety of this procedure. Some epilepsy surgery groups have begun to use computed tomography angiography and magnetic resonance T1-weighted sequence with contrast enhancement for this purpose.

OBJECTIVE: To present the first series of patients with avascular trajectory planning of SEEG based on magnetic resonance angiography (MRA).

METHODS: Thirty-six SEEG explorations for drug-resistant focal epilepsy were performed from January 2013 to December 2015. A retrospective analysis of this consecutive surgical series was then performed. Magnetic resonance imaging included MRA with a modified contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance venography (MRV) protocol with a short acquisition delay, which allowed simultaneous arterial and venous visualization. Our criteria for satisfactoryMRAwere the visualization of at least first-order branches of the angular artery, paracentral and calcarine artery, and third-order tributaries of the superficial Sylvian vein, vein of Labbe, and vein of Trolard.

RESULTS: Thirty-four patients underwent 36 SEEG explorations with 369 electrodes carrying 4321 contacts. Contrast-enhanced MRA using the MRV protocol was judged satisfactory for SEEG planning in all explorations. Postoperative complications were not observed in our series of 36 SEEG explorations, which included 50 transopercular insular trajectories.

CONCLUSION: MRA using an MRV protocol may be applied for avascular trajectory planning during SEEG procedures. This technique provides a simultaneous visualization of cortical arteries and veins without the need for additional radiation exposure or intraarterial catheter placement.


Protocol for motor and language mapping by navigated TMS in patients and healthy volunteers

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1187–1195

Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) is increasingly used for preoperative mapping of motor function, and clinical evidence for its benefit for brain tumor patients is accumulating. In respect to language mapping with repetitive nTMS, literature reports have yielded variable results, and it is currently not routinely performed for presurgical language localization. The aim of this project is to define a common protocol for nTMS motor and language mapping to standardize its neurosurgical application and increase its clinical value.

Methods: The nTMS workshop group, consisting of highly experienced nTMS users with experience of more than 1500 preoperative nTMS examinations, met in Helsinki in January 2016 for thorough discussions of current evidence and personal experiences with the goal to recommend a standardized protocol for neurosurgical applications.

Results: nTMS motor mapping is a reliable and clinically validated tool to identify functional areas belonging to both normal and lesioned primary motor cortex. In contrast, this is less clear for language-eloquent cortical areas identified by nTMS. The user group agreed on a core protocol, which enables comparison of results between centers and has an excellent safety profile. Recommendations for nTMS motor and language mapping protocols and their optimal clinical integration are presented here.

Conclusion: At present, the expert panel recommends nTMS motor mapping in routine neurosurgical practice, as it has a sufficient level of evidence supporting its reliability. The panel recommends that nTMS language mapping be used in the framework of clinical studies to continue refinement of its protocol and increase reliability.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Transsylvian hippocampal transection for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy

Transsylvian hippocampal transection for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy

J Neurosurg 119:1098–1104, 2013

Amygdalohippocampectomy is a well-established, standard surgery for medically intractable mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE). However, in the case of MTLE without hippocampal atrophy or sclerosis, amygdalohippocampectomy is associated with decreased postoperative memory function. Hippocampal transection (HT) has been developed to overcome this problem. In HT the hippocampus is not removed; rather, the longitudinal hippocampal circuits of epileptic activities are disrupted by transection of the pyramidal layer of the hippocampus. The present study describes a less invasive modification of HT (transsylvian HT) and presents the seizure and memory outcomes for this procedure.

Methods. Thirty-seven patients with MTLE (18 men and 19 women; age range 9–63 years; 19 with surgery on the right side and 18 with surgery on the left side; seizure onset from 3 to 34 years) who were treated with transsylvian HT were retrospectively analyzed. All patients had left-side language dominance, and follow-up periods ranged from 12 to 94 months (median 49 months). Seizure outcomes were evaluated for all patients by using the Engel classification. Memory function was evaluated for 22 patients based on 3 indices (verbal memory, nonverbal memory, and delayed recall), with those scores obtained using the Wechsler Memory Scale–Revised. Patients underwent evaluation of the memory function before and after surgery (6 months–1 year).

Results. Engel Class I (completely seizure free) was achieved in 25 patients (67.6%). Class II and Class III designation was achieved in 10 (27%) and 2 patients (5.4%), respectively. There were differences in memory outcome between the sides of operation. On the right side, verbal memory significantly increased postoperatively (p = 0.003) but nonverbal memory and delayed recall showed no significant change after the operation (p = 0.718 and p = 0.210, respectively). On the left side, all 3 indices (verbal memory, nonverbal memory, and delayed recall) showed no significant change (p = 0.331, p = 0.458, and p = 0.366, respectively).

Conclusions. Favorable seizure outcome and preservation of verbal memory were achieved with transsylvian HT for the treatment of MTLE without hippocampal atrophy or sclerosis.

Reoperation for Refractory Epilepsy in Childhood: A Second Chance for Selected Patients


Neurosurgery 73:695–704, 2013

Reoperations account for 10% in pediatric epilepsy surgery cohorts, and they are especially relevant in young children with catastrophic epilepsy. OBJECTIVE: To determine surgical outcomes and their predictive factors in reoperations for refractory epilepsy in childhood.

METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed presurgical findings, resections, and outcomes of 23 consecutive children who underwent reoperations from 2000 to 2011.

RESULTS: Etiology included cortical dysplasia with/without glioneuronal tumor in 19 patients (83%), sole glioneuronal tumor in 2, and tuberous sclerosis and Rasmussen encephalitis in 1 each. The reasons for the failure of the initial surgery were functional considerations in 8 (35%), incorrect delineation of the epileptogenic zone in 8 (35%), and resection not performed as initially planned in 7 (30%) cases. Final procedures included 8 (35%) intralobar, 8 (35%) multilobar resections, and 7 (30%) hemispherotomies. Following reoperations, 14 (61%) patients were seizure free, 6 (26%) showed significant or worthwhile improvement, and 3 (13%) did not respond to surgery. Six of 8 patients who underwent the first resection before the age of 3 years, 6 of 8 whose first resection was limited by functional considerations, and all 7 with hemispherotomy as the final resection achieved seizure freedom after reoperation.

CONCLUSION: Reoperation is particularly beneficial for selected children with refractory epilepsy associated with cortical dysplasia that did not respond to an initial limited and/or early resection but achieved seizure freedom after extensive procedures. When indicated, reoperation should be performed at the youngest possible age to profit from higher functional plasticity in compensating for neurological deficit.

Brain Imaging in Chronic Epilepsy Patients After Depth Electrode (Stereoelectroencephalography) Implantation: Magnetic Resonance Imaging or Computed Tomography?

Depth electrode localization error

Neurosurgery 73:543–549, 2013

The accurate localization of depth electrodes in epilepsy surgery is important for correct interpretation of stereoelectroencephalography recordings and neurosurgical resection. Unfortunately, image quality in postimplantation magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is degraded by metal artifacts. The registration of postimplantation computed tomography (CT) or MRI to preimplantation (artifact-free) MRI facilitates electrode imaging and optimal visualization of brain anatomy. However, registration errors negatively affect electrode localization accuracy.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the relative registration deviation between postimplantation CT and MRI with preimplantation MRI.

METHODS: Retrospectively, 14 pharmacoresistant epilepsy patients were included who underwent stereotactic insertion of multiple depth electrodes and preimplantation and postimplantation MRI and postimplantation CT. Postimplantation MRI and CT image sets were registered to preimplantation MRI. The registration error between the registered postimplantation MRI and CT was quantified by measuring the geometrical distance between the electrodes of the registered postimplantation CT and the postimplantation MRI.

RESULTS: The registration error of postimplantation imaging to preimplantation MRI was dependent on the algorithm used. After optimization, the smallest registration error was 1.22 6 0.29 mm (mean 6 SD) at the tip and 2.25 6 1.18 mm at the base of the electrode.

CONCLUSION: The good correspondence between the CT/MRI and the MRI/MRI registration suggests that either postimplantation MRI or CT is sufficient for accurate electrode localization. In case of postoperative morphological brain deformations, postimplantation MRI is still recommended.

Anterior temporal lobectomy with amygdalohippocampectomy for mesial temporal sclerosis: predictors of long-term seizure control

Anterior temporal lobectomy with amygdalohippocampectomy

J Neurosurg 119:261–272, 2013

In this paper the authors’ goal was to identify preoperative variables that predict long-term seizure freedom among patients with mesial temporal sclerosis (MTS) after single-stage anterior temporal lobectomy and amygdalohippocampectomy (ATL-AH).

Methods. The authors retrospectively reviewed 116 consecutive patients (66 females, mean age at surgery 40.7 years) with refractory seizures and pathologically confirmed MTS who underwent ATL-AH with at least 2 years of follow-up. All patients underwent preoperative MRI and video-electroencephalography (EEG); 106 patients (91.4%) underwent Wada testing and 107 patients (92.2%) had neuropsychological evaluations. The authors assessed the concordance of these 4 studies (defined as test consistent with the side of eventual surgery) and analyzed the impact of preoperative variables on seizure freedom.

Results. The median follow-up after surgery was 6.7 years (mean 6.9 years). Overall, 103 patients (89%) were seizure free, and 109 patients (94%) had Engel Class I or II outcome. Concordant findings were highest for video- EEG (100%), PET (100%), MRI (99.0%), and Wada testing (90.4%) and lowest for SPECT (84.6%) and neuropsychological testing (82.5%). Using binary logistic regression analysis (seizure free or not) and Cox proportional hazard analysis (seizure-free survival), less disparity in the Wada memory scores between the ipsilateral and contralateral sides was associated with persistent seizures.

Conclusions. Seizure freedom of nearly 90% can be achieved with ATL-AH in properly selected patients with MTS and concordant preoperative studies. The low number of poor outcomes and exclusion of multistage patients limit the statistical power to determine preoperative variables that predict failure. Strong Wada memory lateralization was associated with excellent long-term outcome and adds important localization information to structural and neurophysiological data in predicting outcome after ATL-AH for MTS.

Amygdalohippocampotomy: surgical technique and clinical results


J Neurosurg 118:1107–1113, 2013

The removal of mesial temporal structures, namely amygdalohippocampectomy, is the most efficient surgical procedure for the treatment of epilepsy. However, disconnection of the epileptogenic zones, as in temporal lobotomy or, for different purposes, hemispherotomy, have shown equivalent results with less morbidity. Thus, authors of the present study began performing selective amygdalohippocampotomy in cases of refractory mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) to treat mesial temporal lobe sclerosis (MTLS).

Method. The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of all cases of amygdalohippocampotomy collected in a database between November 2007 and March 2011.

Results. Since 2007, 21 patients (14 males and 7 females), ages 20–58 years (mean 41 years), all with TLE due to MTLS, were treated with selective ablation of the lateral amygdala plus perihippocampal disconnection (anterior one-half to two-thirds in dominant hemisphere), the left side in 11 cases and the right in 10. In 20 patients the followup was 2 or more years (range 24–44 months, average 32 months). Clinical outcome for epilepsy 2 years after surgery (20 patients) was good/very good in 19 patients (95%) with an Engel Class I (15 patients [75%]) or II outcome (4 patients [20%]) and bad in 1 patient (5%) with an Engel Class IV outcome (extratemporal focus and later reoperation). Surgical morbidity included hemiparesis (capsular hypertensive hemorrhage 24 hours after surgery, 1 patient), verbal memory worsening (2 patients), and quadrantanopia (permanent in 2 patients, transient in 1). Late psychiatric depression developed in 3 cases. Operative time was reduced by about 30 minutes (15%) on average with this technique.

Conclusions. Amygdalohippocampotomy is as effective as amygdalohippocampectomy to treat MTLS and is a potentially safer, time-saving procedure.