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Cost-effectiveness of invasive monitoring strategies in epilepsy surgery

Taylor J. Abel, Nallammai Muthiah, Jasmine L. Hect, Jorge Gonzalez-Martinez, Afshin Salehi, Matthew D. Smyth, and Kenneth J. Smith

OBJECTIVE

Drug-resistant epilepsy occurs in up to 40% of patients with epilepsy who may be considered for epilepsy surgery. For drug-resistant focal epilepsy, up to 50% of patients require invasive monitoring prior to surgery. Of the most common invasive monitoring strategies (subdural electrodes [SDEs] and stereo-electroencephalography [sEEG]), the most cost-effective strategy is unknown despite substantial differences in morbidity profiles.

METHODS

Using data collected from an internationally representative sample published in available systematic reviews and meta-analyses, this economic evaluation study employs a decision analysis model to simulate the risks and benefits of SDE and sEEG invasive monitoring strategies. In this model, patients faced differing risks of morbidity, mortality, resection, and seizure freedom depending on which invasive monitoring strategy they underwent. A range of cost values was obtained from a recently published single-center cost-utility analysis. The model considers a base case simulation of a characteristic patient with drug-resistant epilepsy using clinical parameters obtained from systematic reviews of invasive monitoring available in the literature. The main outcome measure was the probability of a positive outcome after invasive monitoring, which was defined as improvement in seizures without a complication. Cost-effectiveness was measured using an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER).

RESULTS

Invasive monitoring with sEEG had an increased cost of $274 and increased probability of effectiveness of 0.02 compared with SDEs, yielding an ICER of $12,630 per positive outcome obtained. Sensitivity analyses varied parameters widely and revealed consistent model results across the range of clinical parameters reported in the literature. One-way sensitivity analyses revealed that invasive monitoring strategy costs were the most influential parameter for model outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

In this analysis, based on available observational data and estimates of complication costs, invasive monitoring with either SDEs or sEEG was nearly equivalent in terms of cost-effectiveness.

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Corpus callosotomy performed with laser interstitial thermal therapy

Jarod L. Roland, Syed Hassan A. Akbari, Afshin Salehi, and Matthew D. Smyth

OBJECTIVE

Corpus callosotomy is a palliative procedure that is effective at reducing seizure burden in patients with medically refractory epilepsy. The procedure is traditionally performed via open craniotomy with interhemispheric microdissection to divide the corpus callosum. Concerns for morbidity associated with craniotomy can be a deterrent to patients, families, and referring physicians for surgical treatment of epilepsy. Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) is a less invasive procedure that has been widely adopted in neurosurgery for the treatment of tumors. In this study, the authors investigated LITT as a less invasive approach for corpus callosotomy.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed all patients treated for medically refractory epilepsy by corpus callosotomy, either partial or completion, with LITT. Chart records were analyzed to summarize procedural metrics, length of stay, adverse events, seizure outcomes, and time to follow-up. In select cases, resting-state functional MRI was performed to qualitatively support effective functional disconnection of the cerebral hemispheres.

RESULTS

Ten patients underwent 11 LITT procedures. Five patients received an anterior two-thirds LITT callosotomy as their first procedure. One patient returned after LITT partial callosotomy for completion of callosotomy by LITT. The median hospital stay was 2 days (IQR 1.5–3 days), and the mean follow-up time was 1.0 year (range 1 month to 2.86 years). Functional outcomes are similar to those of open callosotomy, with the greatest effect in patients with a significant component of drop attacks in their seizure semiology. One patient achieved an Engel class II outcome after anterior two-thirds callosotomy resulting in only rare seizures at the 18-month follow-up. Four others were in Engel class III and 5 were Engel class IV. Hemorrhage occurred in 1 patient at the time of removal of the laser fiber, which was placed through the bone flap of a prior open partial callosotomy.

CONCLUSIONS

LITT appears to be a safe and effective means for performing corpus callosotomy. Additional data are needed to confirm equipoise between open craniotomy and LITT for corpus callosotomy.

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Editorial. Mapping at rest: translating resting-state functional MRI to clinical practice

Jarod L. Roland and Matthew D. Smyth

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Outcome methods used in clinical studies of Chiari malformation Type I: a systematic review

Jacob K. Greenberg, Eric Milner, Chester K. Yarbrough, Kim Lipsey, Jay F. Piccirillo, Matthew D. Smyth, Tae Sung Park, and David D. Limbrick Jr.

OBJECT

Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) is a common and often debilitating neurological disease. Efforts to improve treatment of CM-I are impeded by inconsistent and limited methods of evaluating clinical outcomes. To understand current approaches and lay a foundation for future research, the authors conducted a systematic review of the methods used in original published research articles to evaluate clinical outcomes in patients treated for CM-I.

METHODS

The authors searched PubMed, Embase, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, ClinicalTrials.gov, and Cochrane databases to identify publications between January 2003 and August 2013 that met the following criteria: 1) reported clinical outcomes in patients treated for CM-I; 2) were original research articles; 3) included at least 10 patients or, if a comparative study, at least 5 patients per group; and 4) were restricted to patients with CM-I.

RESULTS

Among the 74 papers meeting inclusion criteria, there was wide variation in the outcome methods used. However, all approaches were broadly grouped into 3 categories: 1) “gestalt” impression of overall symptomatic improvement (n = 45 papers); 2) postoperative change in specific signs or symptoms (n = 20); or 3) results of various standardized assessment scales (n = 22). Among standardized scales, 11 general function measures were used, compared with 6 disease-specific tools. Only 3 papers used scales validated in patients with CM-I. To facilitate a uniform comparison of these heterogeneous approaches, the authors appraised articles in multiple domains defined a priori as integral to reporting clinical outcomes in CM-I. Notably, only 7 articles incorporated patient-response instruments when reporting outcome, and only 22 articles explicitly assessed quality of life.

CONCLUSIONS

The methods used to evaluate clinical outcomes in CM-I are inconsistent and frequently not comparable, complicating efforts to analyze results across studies. Development, validation, and incorporation of a small number of disease-specific patient-based instruments will improve the quality of research and care of CM-I patients.

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Frameless Pinless Stereotaxy

Francesco T. Mangano and Matthew D. Smyth

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Hydrogel-induced cervicomedullary compression after posterior fossa decompression for Chiari malformation

Case report

Spiros l. Blackburn and Matthew D. Smyth

✓The use of an absorbable hydrogel dural sealant has been approved for neurosurgical applications with no published reports of complications to date. The authors present the case of a 13-year-old girl with syringomyelia and quadriparesis who underwent posterior fossa decompression and dural augmentation for Chiari malformation Type I. Dural closure was performed with a dural substitute patch, hydrogel dural sealant, and gelatin sponge. Magnetic resonance imaging, performed after initial postoperative improvement in the patient's quadriparesis deteriorated, demonstrated an expanding epidural mass collection causing cervicomedullary compression. Exploration on postoperative Day 15 revealed an expanded layer of hydrogel underlying a layer of gelatin sponge. The authors conclude that hydrogel dural sealants should be used cautiously in spaces that cannot tolerate significant mass effect.

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Iatrogenic intradural epidermoid cyst after lumbar puncture

Case illustration

Daniel Refai, Richard J. Perrin, and Matthew D. Smyth

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Radiosurgical posterior corpus callosotomy in a child with Lennox–Gastaut syndrome

Case report

Matthew D. Smyth, Eric E. Klein, W. Edwin Dodson, and David B. Mansur

✓The authors report the successful use of radiosurgery in a child for posterior corpus callosotomy; the early results are good and the patient has not suffered any morbid conditions. The relevant literature pertaining to the use of radio-surgery for treating epilepsy is reviewed. Details of the radiosurgical techniques and prescription dose used are presented, along with 1-year serial neuroimaging results.

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Giant intracranial teratoma with epignathus in a neonate

Case report and review of the literature

James M. Johnston, Nilesh A. Vyas, Alex A. Kane, David W. Molter, and Matthew D. Smyth

✓Epignathus, a congenital oropharyngeal teratoma, is a rare clinical entity with variable clinical outcomes described in the literature. Even fewer cases of epignathus with intracranial extension have been reported, all with poor outcomes. In this manuscript, the authors present a case of epignathus with intracranial extension, emphasizing clinical presentation, imaging findings, a staged surgical approach, multidisciplinary management, and outcome.

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Outcome following surgery for temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal involvement in preadolescent children: emphasis on mesial temporal sclerosis

Matthew D. Smyth, David D. Limbrick Jr., Jeffrey G. Ojemann, John Zempel, Shenandoah Robinson, Donncha F. O'Brien, Russell P. Saneto, Monisha Goyal, Richard E. Appleton, Francesco T. Mangano, and Tae Sung Park

Object

The authors conducted a multiinstitutional, retrospective analysis to better define outcome and prognostic indicators for temporal lobe epilepsy surgery for suspected mesial temporal sclerosis (MTS) in young children.

Methods

Data were collected for all children undergoing temporal resections at four epilepsy centers over approximately 10 years. Children with a histopathological diagnosis of neoplasm were excluded.

Forty-nine patients (28 boys and 21 girls) were included in the study. Their mean age at surgery was 9.1 years (range 1.25–13.9 years). The mean age at seizure onset was 3.2 years (range birth–10 years). Histopathological examination demonstrated MTS in 26 cases, gliosis in nine, dysplasia in five, gliosis with dysplasia in four, and nonspecific or normal findings in five. Forty-one anterior temporal lobectomies (nine tailored) and eight selective amygdalohippocampectomies were performed (28 left side, 21 right side). Twenty-nine children (59.2%) underwent invasive monitoring. Operative complications included extraaxial hematomas (two cases), cerebrospinal fluid leaks (two cases), and hydrocephalus (one case), each in children undergoing invasive monitoring. The mean duration of follow up was 26.4 months (range 5–74 months) overall and 23.9 months (range 6–74 months) for the Engel Class I subgroup. Outcomes at the most recent follow-up examination were categorized as Engel Class I–II in 31 (63.3%) of 49 children overall, 20 (76.9%) of 26 children with confirmed MTS, four (36.4%) of 11 children with gliosis, and four (57.1%) of seven children with dysplasia. All patients who underwent selective amygdalohippocampectomies had confirmed MTS and Engel Class I outcomes. Patients with more than one seizure type (p = 0.048) or moderate to severe developmental delay (p = 0.03) had significantly worse outcomes (Engel Class III or IV). Age at seizure onset, age at surgery, and duration of seizure disorder were not significantly related to outcome. There was a trend for bilateral or extratemporal findings on electroencephalography (EEG) (p = 0.157), high preoperative seizure frequency (p = 0.097), and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging findings inconsistent with MTS (p = 0.142) to be associated with worse outcome, although it did not reach statistical significance. In only 12 (46.1%) of the 26 patients with confirmed MTS was the condition prospectively diagnosed on preoperative MR imaging.

Conclusions

Younger children with temporal lobe epilepsy have satisfying surgical outcomes, particularly when MTS is present. Magnetic resonance imaging may not be as sensitive in detecting MTS in children as in older patients. Negative predictors identified include multiple seizure types and preoperative developmental delay. Multifocal or bilateral EEG findings, high preoperative seizure frequency, and MR imaging findings inconsistent with MTS also independently suggested worse outcome.