The epileptogenic zones in some patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) involve regions outside the typical extent of anterior temporal lobectomy (i.e., “temporal plus epilepsy”), including portions of the supratemporal plane (STP). Failure to identify this subset of patients and adjust the surgical plan accordingly results in suboptimum surgical outcomes. There are unique technical challenges associated with obtaining recordings from the STP. The authors sought to examine the clinical utility and safety of placing depth electrodes within the STP in patients with TLE.
This study is a retrospective review and analysis of all cases in which patients underwent intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) with use of at least one STP depth electrode over the 10 years from January 2006 through December 2015 at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Basic clinical information was collected, including the presence of ictal auditory symptoms, electrode coverage, monitoring results, resection extent, outcomes, and complications. Additionally, cases in which the temporal lobe was primarily or secondarily involved in seizure onset and propagation were categorized based upon how rapidly epileptic activity was observed within the STP following seizure onsets: within 1 second, between 1 and 15 seconds, after 15 seconds, and not involved.
Fifty-two patients underwent iEEG with STP coverage, with 1 STP electrode used in 45 (86.5%) cases and 2 STP electrodes in the other cases. There were no complications related to STP electrode placement. Of 42 cases in which the temporal lobe was primarily or secondarily involved, seizure activity was recorded from the STP in 36 cases (85.7%): in 5 cases (11.9%) within 1 second, in 5 (11.9%) between 1 and 15 seconds, and in 26 (61.9%) more than 15 seconds following seizure onset. Seizure outcomes inversely correlated with rapid ictal involvement of the STP (Engel class I achieved in 25%, 67%, and 82% of patients in the above categories, respectively). All patients without ictal STP involvement achieved seizure freedom. Only 4 (11.1%) patients with STP ictal involvement reported auditory symptoms.
Ictal involvement of the STP is common even in the absence of auditory symptoms and can be effectively detected by the STP electrodes. These electrodes are safe to implant and provide useful prognostic information.
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