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.


Factors Associated With Pre- and Postoperative Seizures in 1033 Patients Undergoing Supratentorial Meningioma Resection

Neurosurgery 81:297–306, 2017

Risk factors for pre- and postoperative seizures in supratentorial meningiomas are understudied compared to other brain tumors.

OBJECTIVE: To report seizure frequency and identify factors associated with pre- and postoperative seizures in a large single-center population study of patients undergoing resection of supratentorial meningioma.

METHODS: Retrospective chart review of 1033 subjects undergoing resection of supratentorial meningioma at the author’s institution (1991-2014). Multivariate regression was used to identify variables significantly associated with pre- and postoperative seizures.

RESULTS: Preoperative seizures occurred in 234 (22.7%) subjects. At 5 years postoperative, probability of seizure freedom was 89.9% among subjects without preoperative seizures and 62.2% with preoperative seizures. Multivariate analysis identified the following predictors of preoperative seizures: presence of ≥1 cmperitumoral edema (odds ratio [OR]: 4.45, 2.55-8.50), nonskull base tumor location (OR: 2.13, 1.26-3.67), greater age (OR per unit increase: 1.03, 1.01-1.05), while presenting symptom of headache (OR: 0.50, 0.29- 0.84) or cranial nerve deficit (OR: 0.36, 0.17-0.71) decreased odds of preoperative seizures. Postoperative seizures after dischargewere associated with preoperative seizures (OR: 5.70, 2.57-13.13), in-hospital seizure (OR: 4.31, 1.28-13.67), and among patients without preoperative seizure, occurrence ofmedical or surgical complications (OR 3.39, 1.09-9.48). Perioperative anti-epileptic drug use was not associated with decreased incidence of postoperative seizures.

CONCLUSIONS: Nonskull base supratentorial meningiomaswith surrounding edema have the highest risk for preoperative seizure. Long-term follow-up showing persistent seizures in meningioma patients with preoperative seizures raises the possibility that these patients may benefit from electrocorticographic mapping of adjacent cortex and resection of noneloquent, epileptically active cortex.

The Risk of Seizure After Surgery for Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms

Incidence of growth and rupture of unruptured intracranial aneurysms followed by serial MRA

Neurosurgery 79:222–230, 2016

We aimed to identify a group of patients with a low risk of seizure after surgery for unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIA).

OBJECTIVE: To determine the risk of seizure after discharge from surgery for UIA.

METHODS: A consecutive prospectively collected cohort database was interrogated for all surgical UIA cases. There were 726 cases of UIA (excluding cases proximal to the superior cerebellar artery on the vertebrobasilar system) identified and analyzed. Cox proportional hazards regression models and Kaplan-Meier life table analyses were generated assessing risk factors.

RESULTS: Preoperative seizure history and complication of aneurysm repair were the only risk factors found to be significant. The risk of first seizure after discharge from hospital following surgery for patients with neither preoperative seizure, treated middle cerebral artery aneurysm, nor postoperative complications (leading to a modified Rankin Scale score .1) was ,0.1% and 1.1% at 12 months and 7 years, respectively. The risk for those with preoperative seizures was 17.3% and 66% at 12 months and 7 years, respectively. The risk for seizures with either complications (leading to a modified Rankin Scale score .1) from surgery or treated middle cerebral artery aneurysm was 1.4% and 6.8% at 12 months and 7 years, respectively. These differences in the 3 Kaplan-Meier curves were significant (log-rank P , .001).

CONCLUSION: The risk of seizures after discharge from hospital following surgery for UIA is very low when there is no preexisting history of seizures. If this result can be supported by other series, guidelines that restrict returning to driving because of the risk of postoperative seizures should be reconsidered.

Seizures in supratentorial meningioma: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Meningiomas in Pregnancy- A Clinicopathologic Study of 17 Cases

J Neurosurg 124:1552–1561, 2016

Meningioma is the most common benign intracranial tumor, and patients with supratentorial meningioma frequently suffer from seizures. The rates and predictors of seizures in patients with meningioma have been significantly under-studied, even in comparison with other brain tumor types. Improved strategies for the prediction, treatment, and prevention of seizures in patients with meningioma is an important goal, because tumor-related epilepsy significantly impacts patient quality of life.

Methods: The authors performed a systematic review of PubMed for manuscripts published between January 1980 and September 2014, examining rates of pre- and postoperative seizures in supratentorial meningioma, and evaluating potential predictors of seizures with separate meta-analyses.

Results: The authors identified 39 observational case series for inclusion in the study, but no controlled trials. Preoperative seizures were observed in 29.2% of 4709 patients with supratentorial meningioma, and were significantly predicted by male sex (OR 1.74, 95% CI 1.30–2.34); an absence of headache (OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.04–3.25); peritumoral edema (OR 7.48, 95% CI 6.13–9.47); and non–skull base location (OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.04–3.25). After surgery, seizure freedom was achieved in 69.3% of 703 patients with preoperative epilepsy, and was more than twice as likely in those without peritumoral edema, although an insufficient number of studies were available for formal meta-analysis of this association. Of 1085 individuals without preoperative epilepsy who underwent resection, new postoperative seizures were seen in 12.3% of patients. No difference in the rate of new postoperative seizures was observed with or without perioperative prophylactic anticonvulsants.

Conclusions: Seizures are common in supratentorial meningioma, particularly in tumors associated with brain edema, and seizure freedom is a critical treatment goal. Favorable seizure control can be achieved with resection, but evidence does not support routine use of prophylactic anticonvulsants in patients without seizures. Limitations associated with systematic review and meta-analysis should be considered when interpreting these results.

Complications following cranioplasty: incidence and predictors in 348 cases


J Neurosurg 123:182–188, 2015

The factors that contribute to periprocedural complications following cranioplasty, including patient-specific and surgery-specific factors, need to be thoroughly assessed. The aim of this study was to evaluate risk factors that predispose patients to an increased risk of cranioplasty complications and death.

Methods The authors conducted a retrospective review of all patients at their institution who underwent cranioplasty following craniectomy for stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, epidural hematoma, subdural hematoma, and trauma between January 2000 and December 2011. The following predictors were tested: age, sex, race, diabetic status, hypertensive status, tobacco use, reason for craniectomy, urgency status of the craniectomy, graft material, and location of cranioplasty. The cranioplasty complications included reoperation for hematoma, hydrocephalus postcranioplasty, postcranioplasty seizures, and cranioplasty graft infection. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed. Confidence intervals were calculated as the 95% CI.

Results Three hundred forty-eight patients were included in the study. The overall complication rate was 31.32% (109 of 348). The mortality rate was 3.16%. Predictors of overall complications in multivariate analysis were hypertension (OR 1.92, CI 1.22–3.02), increasing age (OR 1.02, CI 1.00–1.04), and hemorrhagic stroke (OR 3.84, CI 1.93–7.63). Predictors of mortality in multivariate analysis were diabetes mellitus (OR 7.56, CI 1.56–36.58), seizures (OR 7.25, CI 1.238–42.79), bifrontal cranioplasty (OR 5.40, CI 1.20–24.27), and repeated surgery for hematoma evacuation (OR 13.00, CI 1.51–112.02). Multivariate analysis was also applied to identify the variables that affect the development of seizures, the need for reoperation for hematoma evacuation, the development of hydrocephalus, and the development of infections.

Conclusions The authors’ goal was to provide the neurosurgeon with predictors of morbidity and mortality that could be incorporated in the clinical decision-making algorithm. Control of a patient’s risk factors and early recognition of complications may help practitioners avoid the exhaustive list of complications.

Temporal Lobe Arteriovenous Malformations: Surgical Outcomes With a Focus on Visual Field Defects and Epilepsy

Temporal lobe AVM

Neurosurgery 73:854–862, 2013

Temporal lobe arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) represent a subgroup of intracranial AVMs with particular characteristics and management issues.

OBJECTIVE: To characterize the surgical outcomes of temporal lobe AVMs with emphasis on visual field deficits (VFDs) and seizures.

METHODS: Between 1992 and 2008, 29 patients were operated on for temporal lobe AVMs. Patient data were retrospectively collected and analyzed.

RESULTS: Twelve of 29 patients (41.4%) presented with seizures and 4 (13.7%) presented with VFDs. Postoperatively, 6 patients (24%) showed new VFDs and 2 improved, with a rate of preservation of full visual fields of 84%. Larger AVMs (.3 cm) were significantly associated with postoperative VFD (P = .008). Epilepsy outcomes assessed by the Engel scale were as follows: 9 patients (75%) were in class I (seizure free), 1 patient (8.3%) was in class III, and 2 patients (16.6%) were in class IV (no change or worsening). Postoperative modified Rankin Scale outcomes were excellent (grade 0-1) in 18 patients, good (grade 2) in 7, and poor (grade 3-4) in 4. Older age at diagnosis correlated with a worse functional outcome (Spearman r = 0.369; P = .049). AVMs were totally removed in 27 of 29 patients (93.1%). Complete surgical excision was confirmed with angiography. Two patients needed reoperation for AVM remnant. Three patients had persistent hemiparesis (10.3% permanent morbidity). There was no mortality.

CONCLUSION: Seizure control is usually underappreciated in the surgical management of AVMs. However, in temporal lobe AVMs, good outcomes with low morbidity and good visual field preservation can be accomplished.

Impact on Seizure Control of Surgical Resection or Radiosurgery for Cerebral Arteriovenous Malformations


Neurosurgery 73:648–656, 2013

Seizures are a common presenting symptom of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). However, the impact of treatment modality on seizure control remains unclear.

OBJECTIVE: To compare seizure control after surgical resection or radiosurgery for AVMs.

METHODS: We analyzed retrospectively collected information for 378 patients with cerebral AVMs treated at our institution from 1990 to 2010. The application of strict inclusion criteria resulted in a study population of 164 patients.

RESULTS: In our cohort, 31 patients (20.7%) had Spetzler-Martin grade I AVMs, 51 (34.0%) grade II, 47 (31.3%) grade III, 20 (13.3%) grade IV, and 1 (0.7%) grade V. Of the 49 patients (30%) presenting with seizures, 60.4% experienced seizure persistence after treatment. For these patients, radiosurgery was associated with seizure recurrence (odds ratio: 4.32, 95% confidence interval: 1.24-15.02, P = .021). AVM obliteration was predictive of seizure freedom at last follow-up (P = .002). In contrast, for patients presenting without seizures, 18.4% experienced de novo seizures after treatment, for which surgical resection was identified as an independent risk factor (hazard ratio: 8.65, 95% confidence interval: 3.05-24.5, P < .001).

CONCLUSION: Although our data suggest that achieving seizure freedom should not be the primary goal of AVM treatment, surgical resection may result in improved seizure control compared with radiosurgery for patients who present with seizures. Conversely, in patients without presenting seizures, surgical resection increases the risk of newonset seizures compared with radiosurgery, but primarily within the early posttreatment period. Surgical resection and radiosurgery result in divergent seizure control rates depending on seizure presentation.

Intraoperative Seizures During Awake Craniotomy: Incidence and Consequences: Analysis of 477 Patients

Awake cranio

Neurosurgery 73:135–140, 2013

Awake craniotomy (AC) for removal of intra-axial brain tumors is a well-established procedure. However, the occurrence and consequences of intraoperative seizures during AC have not been well characterized.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the incidence, risk factors, and consequences of seizures during AC.

METHODS: The database of AC at Tel Aviv Medical Center between 2003 to 2011 was reviewed. Occurrences of intraoperative seizures were analyzed with respect to medical history, medications, tumor characteristics, and postoperative outcome.

RESULTS: Of the 549 ACs performed during the index period, 477 with complete records were identified. Sixty patients (12.6%) experienced intraoperative seizures. The AC procedure failed in 11 patients (2.3%) due to seizures. Patients with intraoperative seizures were significantly younger than nonseizing patients (45 6 14 years vs 52 6 16 years, P = .003), had a higher incidence of frontal lobe involvement (86% vs % 57%, P , .0001), and had higher prevalence of a history of seizures (P = .008). Short-term motor deterioration developed postoperatively in a higher percentage of patients with intraoperative seizures (20% vs 10.1%, P = .02) with a longer hospitalization period (4.0 6 3.0 days vs 3.0 6 3.0 days, P = .045).

CONCLUSION: Although in most cases intraoperative seizures will not result in AC failure, the surgical team should be prepared to treat them promptly to avoid intractable seizures. Intraoperative seizures are more common in younger patients with a tumor in the frontal lobe and those with a history of seizures. Moreover, they are associated with a higher incidence of transient postoperative motor deterioration and protracted length of hospital stay.

Failed awake craniotomy: a retrospective analysis in 424 patients undergoing craniotomy for brain tumor

Awake cranio

J Neurosurg 118:243–249, 2013

Awake craniotomy for removal of intraaxial tumors within or adjacent to eloquent brain regions is a well-established procedure. However, awake craniotomy failures have not been well characterized. In the present study, the authors aimed to analyze and assess the incidence and causes for failed awake craniotomy.

Methods. The database of awake craniotomies performed at Tel Aviv Medical Center between 2003 and 2010 was reviewed. Awake craniotomy was considered a failure if conversion to general anesthesia was required, or if adequate mapping or monitoring could not have been achieved.

Results. Of 488 patients undergoing awake craniotomy, 424 were identified as having complete medical, operative, and anesthesiology records. The awake craniotomies performed in 27 (6.4%) of these 424 patients were considered failures. The main causes of failure were lack of intraoperative communication with the patient (n = 18 [4.2%]) and/or intraoperative seizures (n = 9 [2.1%]). Preoperative mixed dysphasia (p < 0.001) and treatment with phenytoin (p = 0.0019) were related to failure due to lack of communication. History of seizures (p = 0.03) and treatment with multiple antiepileptic drugs (p = 0.0012) were found to be related to failure due to intraoperative seizures. Compared with the successful awake craniotomy group, a significantly lower rate of gross-total resection was achieved (83% vs 54%, p = 0.008), there was a higher incidence of short-term speech deterioration postoperatively (6.1% vs 23.5%, p = 0.0017) as well as at 3 months postoperatively (2.3% vs 15.4%, p = 0.0002), and the hospitalization period was longer (4.9 ± 6.2 days vs 8.0 ± 10.1 days, p < 0.001). Significantly more major complications occurred in the failure group (4 [14.8%] of 27) than in the successful group (16 [4%] of 397) (p = 0.037).

Conclusions. Failures of awake craniotomy were associated with a lower incidence of gross-total resection and increased postoperative morbidity. The majority of awake craniotomy failures were preventable by adequate patient selection and avoiding side effects of drugs administered during surgery.

Predictors of seizure freedom in the surgical treatment of supratentorial cavernous malformations

J Neurosurg 115:1169–1174, 2011. DOI: 10.3171/2011.7.JNS11536

Seizures are the most common presenting symptom of supratentorial cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) and progress to medically refractory epilepsy in 40% of patients. Predictors of seizure freedom in the resection of CCMs are incompletely understood.

Methods. The authors systematically reviewed the published literature on seizure freedom following the resection of supratentorial CCMs in patients presenting with seizures. Seizure outcomes were stratified across 12 potential prognostic variables. A total of 1226 patients with supratentorial CCMs causing seizures were identified across 31 predominantly retrospective studies; 361 patients had medically refractory epilepsy.

Results. Seventy-five percent of the patients were seizure free after microsurgical lesion removal, whereas 25% continued to have seizures. All patients had had preoperative seizures and > 6 months of postoperative follow-up. Modifiable predictors of postoperative seizure freedom included gross-total resection (OR 36.6, 95% CI 8.5–157.5) and surgery within 1 year of symptom onset (OR 1.83, 95% CI 1.30–2.58). Additional prognostic indicators of a favorable outcome were a CCM size < 1.5 cm (OR 15.4, 95% CI 5.2–45.4), the absence of multiple CCMs (OR 2.02, 95% CI 1.13–3.60), medically controlled seizures (OR 2.38, 95% CI 1.29–4.39), and the lack of secondarily generalized seizures (OR 3.33, 95% CI 2.09–5.30). Other factors, including extended resection of the hemosiderin ring, were not significantly predictive.

Conclusions. In the surgical treatment of supratentorial CCMs, gross-total resection and early operative intervention may improve seizure outcome. While surgery should not be considered the first-line treatment for CCM-related epilepsy, it is important to understand the variables associated with seizure freedom in CCM resection given the considerable morbidity and diminished quality of life associated with epilepsy.

Capillary telangiectasias: clinical, radiographic, and histopathological features

J Neurosurg 113:709–714, 2010. DOI: 10.3171/2009.9.JNS09282

Brain capillary telangiectasias (BCTs) are small, clinically benign, angiographically occult lesions that are usually incidental findings. Large capillary telangiectasias have not been reported previously as most BCTs are very small. Symptomatic BCTs are also rare, with few reports in the literature. The authors review the clinical manifestations, imaging, and histopathological characteristics of BCTs to further elucidate the diagnostic and clinical features of these vascular malformations.

Methods. The authors completed a retrospective radiological review of all cases of BCTs in the neuroradiology database at the University of Utah involving patients treated between January 1993 and December 2007. The MR imaging scans were reviewed, and the BCT was measured in 2 dimensions. They arbitrarily chose > 1 cm to define a large BCT as a majority of these lesions were smaller than that. The medical chart and the electronic database were used to gather each patient’s clinical information.

Results. One hundred thirty patients were identified in the archived neuroradiology database of capillary telangiectasias. Cases involving 105 patients with definite capillary telangiectasias were reviewed, and from these, 7 patients were identified to have a large capillary telangiectasia measuring > 1 cm. Upon further review, 2 of these patients were identified as having symptoms likely related to their capillary telangiectasia. These 2 cases are reported in the article. No patients with smaller BCTs were found to have symptoms related to their lesion.

Conclusions. Brain capillary telangiectasias are small vascular malformations that rarely cause symptoms. They are often overlooked on imaging because of their clinically benign nature; however, they have been misdiagnosed as glial tumors in the past. Specific MR imaging sequences (T1-weighted postcontrast and gradient refocused echo) are valuable in aiding diagnosis, as histopathological diagnosis is often not possible. These cases highlight that BCTs can cause symptoms, a finding that may actually be related to the size of the lesion (28.6% of large BCTs in this series were symptomatic, whereas none of the small ones were).

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