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

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

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

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

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

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