Transuncal Selective Amygdalohippocampectomy by an Inferolateral Preseptal Endoscopic Approach Through Inferior Eyelid Conjunctival Incision: An Anatomic Study

Operative Neurosurgery 25:199–208, 2023

Transorbital endoscopic approaches have been described for pathologies of anterior and middle fossae. Standard lateral orbitotomy gives access to mesial temporal lobe, but the axis of work is partially obscured by the temporal pole and working corridor is limited.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the usefulness of an inferolateral orbitotomy to provide a more direct corridor to perform a transuncal selective amygdalohippocampectomy.

METHODS: Three adult cadaveric specimens were used for a total of 6 dissections. A step-by-step description and illustration of the transuncal corridor for a selective amygdalohippocampectomy were performed using the inferolateral orbitotomy through an inferior eyelid conjunctival incision. The anatomic landmarks were demonstrated in detail. Orbitotomies and angles of work were measured from computed tomography scans, and the area of resection was illustrated by postdissection MRI.

RESULTS: Inferior eyelid conjunctival incision was made for exposure of the inferior orbital rim. Inferolateral transorbital approach was performed to access the transuncal corridor. Endoscopic selective amygdalohippocampectomy was performed through the entorhinal cortex without damage to the temporal neocortex or Meyer’s loop. The mean horizontal diameter of the osteotomy was 14.4 mm, and the vertical one was 13.6 mm. The mean angles of work were 65°and 35.5°in the axial and sagittal planes, respectively. Complete amygdalohippocampectomy was achieved in all 6 dissections.

CONCLUSION: Transuncal selective amygdalohippocampectomy was feasible in cadaveric specimens using the inferolateral transorbital endoscopic approach avoiding damage to the temporal neocortex and Meyer’s loop. The inferior eyelid conjunctival incision may result in an excellent cosmetic outcome.

Microvascular anatomy of the medial temporal region

J Neurosurg 137:747–759, 2022

The authors investigated the microvascular anatomy of the hippocampus and its implications for medial temporal tumor surgery. They aimed to reveal the anatomical variability of the arterial supply and venous drainage of the hippocampus, emphasizing its clinical implications for the removal of associated tumors.

METHODS Forty-seven silicon-injected cerebral hemispheres were examined using microscopy. The origin, course, irrigation territory, spatial relationships, and anastomosis of the hippocampal arteries and veins were investigated. Illustrative cases of hippocampectomy for medial temporal tumor surgery are also provided.

RESULTS The hippocampal arteries can be divided into 3 segments, the anterior (AHA), middle (MHA), and posterior (PHA) hippocampal artery complexes, which correspond to irrigation of the hippocampal head, body, and tail, respectively. The uncal hippocampal and anterior hippocampal-parahippocampal arteries contribute to the AHA complex, the posterior hippocampal-parahippocampal arteries serve as the MHA complex, and the PHA and splenial artery compose the PHA complex. Rich anastomoses between hippocampal arteries were observed, and in 11 (23%) hemispheres, anastomoses between each segment formed a complete vascular arcade at the hippocampal sulcus. Three veins were involved in hippocampal drainage—the anterior hippocampal, anterior longitudinal hippocampal, and posterior longitudinal hippocampal veins—which drain the hippocampal head, body, and tail, respectively, into the basal and internal cerebral veins.

CONCLUSIONS An understanding of the vascular variability and network of the hippocampus is essential for medial temporal tumor surgery via anterior temporal lobectomy with amygdalohippocampectomy and transsylvian selective amygdalohippocampectomy. Stereotactic procedures in this region should also consider the anatomy of the vascular arcade at the hippocampal sulcus.

The temporoinsular projection system: an anatomical study

J Neurosurg 132:615–623, 2020

Connections between the insular cortex and the amygdaloid complex have been demonstrated using various techniques. Although functionally well connected, the precise anatomical substrate through which the amygdaloid complex and the insula are wired remains unknown. In 1960, Klingler briefly described the “fasciculus amygdaloinsularis,” a white matter tract connecting the posterior insula with the amygdala. The existence of such a fasciculus seems likely but has not been firmly established, and the reported literature does not include a thorough description and documentation of its anatomy. In this fiber dissection study the authors sought to elucidate the pathway connecting the insular cortex and the mesial temporal lobe.

METHODS Fourteen brain specimens obtained at routine autopsy were dissected according to Klingler’s fiber dissection technique. After fixation and freezing, anatomical dissections were performed in a stepwise progressive fashion.

RESULTS The insula is connected with the opercula of the frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes through the extreme capsule, which represents a network of short association fibers. At the limen insulae, white matter fibers from the extreme capsule converge and loop around the uncinate fasciculus toward the temporal pole and the mesial temporal lobe, including the amygdaloid complex.

CONCLUSIONS The insula and the mesial temporal lobe are directly connected through white matter fibers in the extreme capsule, resulting in the appearance of a single amygdaloinsular fasciculus. This apparent fasciculus is part of the broader network of short association fibers of the extreme capsule, which connects the entire insular cortex with the temporal pole and the amygdaloid complex. The authors propose the term “temporoinsular projection system” (TIPS) for this complex.

Method for temporal keyhole lobectomies in resection of low- and high-grade gliomas

J Neurosurg 128:1388–1395, 2018

The purpose of this study was to describe a method of resecting temporal gliomas through a keyhole lobectomy and to share the results of using this technique.

METHODS The authors performed a retrospective review of data obtained in all patients in whom the senior author performed resection of temporal gliomas between 2012 and 2015. The authors describe their technique for resecting dominant and nondominant gliomas, using both awake and asleep keyhole craniotomy techniques.

RESULTS Fifty-two patients were included in the study. Twenty-six patients (50%) had not received prior surgery. Seventeen patients (33%) were diagnosed with WHO Grade II/III tumors, and 35 patients (67%) were diagnosed with a glioblastoma. Thirty tumors were left sided (58%). Thirty procedures (58%) were performed while the patient was awake. The median extent of resection was 95%, and at least 90% of the tumor was resected in 35 cases (67%). Five of 49 patients (10%) with clinical follow-up experienced permanent deficits, including 3 patients (6%) with hydrocephalus requiring placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt and 2 patients (4%) with weakness. Three patients experienced early postoperative anomia, but no patients had a new speech deficit at clinical follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS The authors provide their experience using a keyhole lobectomy for resecting temporal gliomas. Their data demonstrate the feasibility of using less invasive techniques to safely and aggressively treat these tumors.


Stereoelectroencephalography in insular epilepsy

J Neurosurg 128:1147–1157, 2018

Insular epilepsy is relatively rare; however, exploring the insular cortex when preoperative workup raises the suspicion of insular epilepsy is of paramount importance for accurate localization of the epileptogenic zone and achievement of seizure freedom. The authors review their clinical experience with stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) electrode implantation in patients with medically intractable epilepsy and suspected insular involvement.

METHODS A total of 198 consecutive cases in which patients underwent SEEG implantation with a total of 1556 electrodes between June 2009 and April 2013 were reviewed. The authors identified patients with suspected insular involvement based on seizure semiology, scalp EEG data, and preoperative imaging (MRI, PET, and SPECT or magnetoencephalography [MEG]). Patients with at least 1 insular electrode based on the postoperative 3D reconstruction of CT fused with the preoperative MRI were included.

RESULTS One hundred thirty-five patients with suspected insular epilepsy underwent insular implantation of a total of 303 electrodes (1–6 insular electrodes per patient) with a total of 562 contacts. Two hundred sixty-eight electrodes (88.5%) were implanted orthogonally through the frontoparietal or temporal operculum (420 contacts). Thirty-five electrodes (11.5%) were implanted by means of an oblique trajectory either through a frontal or a parietal entry point (142 contacts). Nineteen patients (14.07%) had insular electrodes placed bilaterally. Twenty-three patients (17.04% of the insular implantation group and 11.6% of the whole SEEG cohort) were confirmed by SEEG to have ictal onset zones in the insula. None of the patients experienced any intracerebral hemorrhage related to the insular electrodes. After insular resection, 5 patients (33.3%) had Engel Class I outcomes, 6 patients (40%) had Engel Class II, 3 patients (20%) had Engel Class III, and 1 patient (6.66%) had Engel Class IV.

CONCLUSIONS Insula exploration with stereotactically placed depth electrodes is a safe technique. Orthogonal electrodes are implanted when the hypothesis suggests opercular involvement; however, oblique electrodes allow a higher insular sampling rate.


Surgical Approaches to the Temporal Horn: An Anatomic Analysis of White Matter Tract Interruption

Operative Neurosurgery 13:258–270, 2017

Surgical access to the temporal horn is necessary to treat tumors and vascular lesions, but is used mainly in patients with mediobasal temporal epilepsy. The surgical approaches to this cavity fall into 3 primary categories: lateral, inferior, and transsylvian. The current neurosurgical literature has underestimated the interruption of involved fiber bundles and the correlated clinical manifestations.

OBJECTIVE: To delineate the interruption of fiber bundles during the different approaches to the temporal horn.

METHODS:We simulated the lateral (trans-middle temporal gyrus), inferior (transparahippocampal gyrus), and transsylvian approaches in 20 previously frozen, formalin-fixed human brains (40 hemispheres). Fiber dissection was then done along the lateral and inferior aspects under the operating microscope. Each stage of dissection and its respective fiber tract interruption were defined.

RESULTS: The lateral (trans-middle temporal gyrus) approach interrupted “U” fibers, the superior longitudinal fasciculus (inferior arm), occipitofrontal fasciculus (ventral segment), uncinate fasciculus (dorsolateral segment), anterior commissure (posterior segment), temporopontine, inferior thalamic peduncle (posterior fibers), posterior thalamic peduncle (anterior portion), and tapetum fibers. The inferior (transparahippocampal gyrus) approach interrupted “U” fibers, the cingulum (inferior arm), and fimbria, and transected the hippocampal formation. The transsylvian approach interrupted “U”fibers (anterobasal region of the extreme capsule), the uncinate fasciculus (ventromedial segment), and anterior commissure (anterior segment), and transected the anterosuperior aspect of the amygdala.

CONCLUSION: White matter dissection improves our knowledge of the complex anatomy surrounding the temporal horn. Identifying the fiber bundles at risk during each surgical approach adds important information for choosing the appropriate surgical strategy.


Fiber tracking for temporal tumors

Distinct displacements of the optic radiation based on tumor location revealed using preoperative diffusion tensor imaging

J Neurosurg 124:1343–1352, 2016

Visual field defects (VFDs) due to optic radiation (OR) injury are a common complication of temporal lobe surgery. The authors analyzed whether preoperative visualization of the optic tract would reduce this complication by influencing the surgeon’s decisions about surgical approaches. The authors also determined whether white matter shifts caused by temporal lobe tumors would follow predetermined patterns based on the tumor’s topography.

Methods One hundred thirteen patients with intraaxial tumors of the temporal lobe underwent preoperative diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) fiber tracking. In 54 of those patients, both pre- and postoperative VFDs were documented using computerized perimetry. Brainlab’s iPlan 2.5 navigation software was used for tumor reconstruction and fiber visualization after the fusion of DTI studies with their respective magnetization-prepared rapid gradient-echo (MP-RAGE) images. The tracking algorithm was as follows: minimum fiber length 100 mm, fractional anisotropy threshold 0.1. The lateral geniculate body and the calcarine cortex were employed as tract seeding points. Shifts of the OR caused by tumor were visualized in comparison with the fiber tracking of the patient’s healthy hemisphere.

Results Temporal tumors produced a dislocation of the OR but no apparent fiber destruction. The shift of white matter tracts followed fixed patterns dependent on tumor location: Temporolateral tumors resulted in a medial fiber shift, and thus a lateral transcortical approach is recommended. Temporopolar tumors led to a posterior shift, always including Meyer’s loop; therefore, a pterional transcortical approach is recommended. Temporomesial tumors produced a lateral and superior shift; thus, a transsylvian-transcisternal approach will result in maximum sparing of the fibers. Temporocentric tumors also induced a lateral fiber shift. For those tumors, a transsylvian-transopercular approach is recommended. Tumors of the fusiform gyrus generated a superior (and lateral) shift; consequently, a subtemporal approach is recommended to avoid white matter injury. In applying the approaches recommended above, new or worsened VFDs occurred in 4% of the patient cohort. Total neurological and surgical morbidity were less than 10%. In 90% of patients, gross-total resection was accomplished.

Conclusions Preoperative visualization of the OR may help in avoiding postoperative VFDs.

Neurocognitive Changes Associated With Surgical Resection of Left and Right Temporal Lobe Glioma

Temporal lobe tumor

Neurosurgery 77:777–785, 2015

Little is known regarding the neurocognitive impact of temporal lobe tumor resection.

OBJECTIVE: To clarify subacute surgery-related changes in neurocognitive functioning (NCF) in patients with left (LTL) and right (RTL) temporal lobe glioma.

METHODS: Patients with glioma in the LTL (n = 45) or RTL (n = 19) completed comprehensive pre- and postsurgical neuropsychological assessments. NCF was analyzed with 2-way mixed design repeated-measures analysis of variance, with hemisphere (LTL or RTL) as an independent between-subjects factor and pre- and postoperative NCF as a within-subjects factor.

RESULTS: About 60% of patients with LTL glioma and 40% with RTL lesions exhibited significant worsening on at least 1 NCF test. Domains most commonly impacted included verbal memory and executive functioning. Patients with LTL tumor showed greater decline than patients with RTL tumor on verbal memory and confrontation naming tests. Nonetheless, over one-third of patients with RTL lesions also showed verbal memory decline.

CONCLUSION: In patients with temporal lobe glioma, NCF decline in the subacute postoperative period is common. As expected, patients with LTL tumor show more frequent and severe decline than patients with RTL tumor, particularly on verbally mediated measures. However, a considerable proportion of patients with RTL tumor also exhibit decline across various domains, even those typically associated with left hemisphere structures, such as verbal memory. While patients with RTL lesions may show even greater decline in visuospatial memory, this domain was not assessed. Nonetheless, neuropsychological assessment can identify acquired deficits and help facilitate early intervention in patients with temporal lobe glioma.

Volumetric CT analysis as a predictor of seizure outcome following temporal lobectomy

Volumetric brain analysis in neurosurgery- Part 3

J Neurosurg Pediatr 15:133–143, 2015

The incidence of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) due to mesial temporal sclerosis (MTS) can be high in developing countries. Current diagnosis of MTS relies on structural MRI, which is generally unavailable in developing world settings. Given widespread effects on temporal lobe structure beyond hippocampal atrophy in TLE, the authors propose that CT volumetric analysis can be used in patient selection to help predict outcomes following resection.

METHODS Ten pediatric patients received preoperative CT scans and temporal resections at the CURE Children’s Hospital of Uganda. Engel classification of seizure control was determined 12 months postoperatively. Temporal lobe volumes were measured from CT and from normative MR images using the Cavalieri method. Whole brain and fluid volumes were measured using particle filter segmentation. Linear discrimination analysis (LDA) was used to classify seizure outcome by temporal lobe volumes and normalized brain volume.

RESULTS Epilepsy patients showed normal to small brain volumes and small temporal lobes bilaterally. A multivariate measure of the volume of each temporal lobe separated patients who were seizure free (Engel Class IA) from those with incomplete seizure control (Engel Class IB/IIB) with LDA (p < 0.01). Temporal lobe volumes also separate normal subjects, patients with Engel Class IA outcomes, and patients with Class IB/IIB outcomes (p < 0.01). Additionally, the authors demonstrated that age-normalized whole brain volume, in combination with temporal lobe volumes, may further improve outcome prediction (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS This study shows strong evidence that temporal lobe and brain volume can be predictive of seizure outcome following temporal lobe resection, and that volumetric CT analysis of the temporal lobe may be feasible in lieu of structural MRI when the latter is unavailable. Furthermore, since the authors’ methods are modality independent, these findings suggest that temporal lobe and normative brain volumes may further be useful in the selection of patients for temporal lobe resection when structural MRI is available.

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.

Temporal lobe arteriovenous malformations: anatomical subtypes, surgical strategy, and outcomes

Temporal lobe AVM

J Neurosurg 119:616–628, 2013

Descriptions of temporal lobe arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are inconsistent. To standardize reporting, the authors blended existing descriptions in the literature into an intuitive classification with 5 anatomical subtypes: lateral, medial, basal, sylvian, and ventricular. The authors’ surgical experience with temporal lobe AVMs was reviewed according to these subtypes.

Methods. Eighty-eight patients with temporal lobe AVMs were treated surgically.

Results. Lateral temporal lobe AVMs were the most common (58 AVMs, 66%). Thirteen AVMs (15%) were medial, 9 (10%) were basal, and 5 (6%) were sylvian. Ventricular AVMs were least common (3 AVMs, 3%). A temporal craniotomy based over the ear was used in 64%. Complete AVM resection was achieved in 82 patients (93%). Four patients (5%) died in the perioperative period (6 in all were lost to follow-up); 71 (87%) of the remaining 82 patients had good outcomes (modified Rankin Scale scores 0–2); and 68 (83%) were unchanged or improved after surgery.

Conclusions. Categorization of temporal AVMs into subtypes can assist with surgical planning and also standardize reporting. Lateral AVMs are the easiest to expose surgically, with circumferential access to feeding arteries and draining veins at the AVM margins. Basal AVMs require a subtemporal approach, often with some transcortical dissection through the inferior temporal gyrus. Medial AVMs are exposed tangentially with an orbitozygomatic craniotomy and transsylvian dissection of anterior choroidal artery and posterior cerebral artery feeders in the medial cisterns. Medial AVMs posterior to the cerebral peduncle require transcortical approaches through the temporooccipital gyrus. Sylvian AVMs require a wide sylvian fissure split and differentiation of normal arteries, terminal feeding arteries, and transit arteries. Ventricular AVMs require a transcortical approach through the inferior temporal gyrus that avoids the Meyer loop. Surgical results with temporal lobe AVMs are generally good, and classifying them does not offer any prediction of surgical risk.