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Fabio Grassia, Andrew V. Poliakov, Sandra L. Poliachik, Kaitlyn Casimo, Seth D. Friedman, Hillary Shurtleff, Carlo Giussani, Edward J. Novotny Jr., Jeffrey G. Ojemann, and Jason S. Hauptman

OBJECTIVE

Functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI) is a form of fMRI that allows for analysis of blood oxygen level–dependent signal changes within a task-free, resting paradigm. This technique has been shown to have efficacy in evaluating network connectivity changes with epilepsy. Presurgical data from patients with unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy were evaluated using the fcMRI technique to define connectivity changes within and between the diseased and healthy temporal lobes using a within-subjects design.

METHODS

Using presurgical fcMRI data from pediatric patients with unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy, the authors performed seed-based analyses within the diseased and healthy temporal lobes. Connectivity within and between temporal lobe seeds was measured and compared.

RESULTS

In the cohort studied, local ipsilateral temporal lobe connectivity was significantly increased on the diseased side compared to the healthy temporal lobe. Connectivity of the diseased side to the healthy side, on the other hand, was significantly reduced when compared to connectivity of the healthy side to the diseased temporal lobe. A statistically significant regression was observed when comparing the changes in local ipsilateral temporal lobe connectivity to the changes in inter–temporal lobe connectivity. A statistically significant difference was also noted in ipsilateral connectivity changes between patients with and those without mesial temporal sclerosis.

CONCLUSIONS

Using fcMRI, significant changes in ipsilateral temporal lobe and inter–temporal lobe connectivity can be appreciated in unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy. Furthermore, fcMRI may have a role in the presurgical evaluation of patients with intractable temporal lobe epilepsy.

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Anthony C. Wang, George M. Ibrahim, Andrew V. Poliakov, Page I. Wang, Aria Fallah, Gary W. Mathern, Robert T. Buckley, Kelly Collins, Alexander G. Weil, Hillary A. Shurtleff, Molly H. Warner, Francisco A. Perez, Dennis W. Shaw, Jason N. Wright, Russell P. Saneto, Edward J. Novotny, Amy Lee, Samuel R. Browd, and Jeffrey G. Ojemann

OBJECTIVE

The potential loss of motor function after cerebral hemispherectomy is a common cause of anguish for patients, their families, and their physicians. The deficits these patients face are individually unique, but as a whole they provide a framework to understand the mechanisms underlying cortical reorganization of motor function. This study investigated whether preoperative functional MRI (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) could predict the postoperative preservation of hand motor function.

METHODS

Thirteen independent reviewers analyzed sensorimotor fMRI and colored fractional anisotropy (CoFA)–DTI maps in 25 patients undergoing functional hemispherectomy for treatment of intractable seizures. Pre- and postoperative gross hand motor function were categorized and correlated with fMRI and DTI findings, specifically, abnormally located motor activation on fMRI and corticospinal tract atrophy on DTI.

RESULTS

Normal sensorimotor cortical activation on preoperative fMRI was significantly associated with severe decline in postoperative motor function, demonstrating 92.9% sensitivity (95% CI 0.661–0.998) and 100% specificity (95% CI 0.715–1.00). Bilaterally robust, symmetric corticospinal tracts on CoFA-DTI maps were significantly associated with severe postoperative motor decline, demonstrating 85.7% sensitivity (95% CI 0.572–0.982) and 100% specificity (95% CI 0.715–1.00). Interpreting the fMR images, the reviewers achieved a Fleiss’ kappa coefficient (κ) for interrater agreement of κ = 0.69, indicating good agreement (p < 0.01). When interpreting the CoFA-DTI maps, the reviewers achieved κ = 0.64, again indicating good agreement (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

Functional hemispherectomy offers a high potential for seizure freedom without debilitating functional deficits in certain instances. Patients likely to retain preoperative motor function can be identified prior to hemispherectomy, where fMRI or DTI suggests that cortical reorganization of motor function has occurred prior to the operation.

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Kurt E. Weaver, Andrew Poliakov, Edward J. Novotny, Jared D. Olson, Thomas J. Grabowski, and Jeffrey G. Ojemann

OBJECTIVE

The acquisition and refinement of cognitive and behavioral skills during development is associated with the maturation of various brain oscillatory activities. Most developmental investigations have identified distinct patterns of low-frequency electrophysiological activity that are characteristic of various behavioral milestones. In this investigation, the authors focused on the cross-sectional developmental properties of high-frequency spectral power from the brain’s default mode network (DMN) during goal-directed behavior.

METHODS

The authors contrasted regionally specific, time-evolving high gamma power (HGP) in the lateral DMN cortex between 3 young children (age range 3–6 years) and 3 adults by use of electrocorticography (ECoG) recordings over the left perisylvian cortex during a picture-naming task.

RESULTS

Across all participants, a nearly identical and consistent response suppression of HGP, which is a functional signature of the DMN, was observed during task performance recordings acquired from ECoG electrodes placed over the lateral DMN cortex. This finding provides evidence of relatively early maturation of the DMN. Furthermore, only HGP relative to evoked alpha and beta band power showed this level of consistency across all participants.

CONCLUSIONS

Regionally specific, task-evoked suppression of the high-frequency components of the cortical power spectrum is established early in brain development, and this response may reflect the early maturation of specific cognitive and/or computational mechanisms.

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Robert T. Buckley, Anthony C. Wang, John W. Miller, Edward J. Novotny, and Jeffrey G. Ojemann

OBJECTIVE

Laser ablation is a novel, minimally invasive procedure that utilizes MRI-guided thermal energy to treat epileptogenic and other brain lesions. In addition to treatment of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, laser ablation is increasingly being used to target deep or inoperable lesions, including hypothalamic hamartoma (HH), subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (SEGA), and exophytic intrinsic hypothalamic/third ventricular tumors. The authors reviewed their early institutional experience with these patients to characterize clinical outcomes in patients undergoing this procedure.

METHODS

A retrospective cohort (n = 12) of patients undergoing laser ablation at a single institution was identified, and clinical and radiographic records were reviewed.

RESULTS

Laser ablation was successfully performed in all patients. No permanent neurological or endocrine complications occurred; 2 (17%) patients developed acute obstructive hydrocephalus or shunt malfunction following treatment. Laser ablation of HH resulted in seizure freedom (Engel Class I) in 67%, with the remaining patients having a clinically significant reduction in seizure frequency of greater than 90% compared with preoperative baseline (Engel Class IIB). Treatment of SEGAs resulted in durable clinical and radiographic tumor control in 2 of 3 cases, with one patient receiving adjuvant everolimus and the other receiving no additional therapy. Palliative ablation of hypothalamic/third ventricular tumors resulted in partial tumor control in 1 of 3 patients.

CONCLUSIONS

Early experience suggests that laser ablation is a generally safe, durable, and effective treatment for patients harboring HHs. It also appears effective for local control of SEGAs, especially in combination therapy with everolimus. Its use as a palliative treatment for intrinsic hypothalamic/deep intraventricular tumors was less successful and associated with a higher risk of serious complications. Additional experience and long-term follow-up will be beneficial in further characterizing the effectiveness and risk profile of laser ablation in treating these lesions in comparison with conventional resective surgery or stereotactic radiosurgery.

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Hillary A. Shurtleff, Dwight Barry, Timothy Firman, Molly H. Warner, Rafael L. Aguilar-Estrada, Russell P. Saneto, John D. Kuratani, Richard G. Ellenbogen, Edward J. Novotny, and Jeffrey G. Ojemann

OBJECT

Outcomes of focal resection in young children with early-onset epilepsy are varied in the literature due to study differences. In this paper, the authors sought to define the effect of focal resection in a small homogeneous sample of children who were otherwise cognitively intact, but who required early surgical treatment. Preservation of and age-appropriate development of intelligence following focal resection was hypothesized.

METHODS

Cognitive outcome after focal resection was retrospectively reviewed for 15 cognitively intact children who were operated on at the ages of 2–6 years for lesion-related, early-onset epilepsy. Intelligence was tested prior to and after surgery. Effect sizes and confidence intervals for means and standard deviations were used to infer changes and differences in intelligence between 1) groups (pre vs post), 2) left versus right hemisphere resections, and 3) short versus long duration of seizures prior to resection.

RESULTS

No group changes from baseline occurred in Full Scale, verbal, or nonverbal IQ. No change from baseline intelligence occurred in children who underwent left or right hemisphere surgery, including no group effect on verbal scores following surgery in the dominant hemisphere. Patients with seizure durations of less than 6 months prior to resection showed improvement from their presurgical baseline in contrast to those with seizure duration of greater than 6 months prior to surgery, particularly in Wechsler Full Scale IQ and nonverbal intelligence.

CONCLUSIONS

This study suggests that surgical treatment of focal seizures in cognitively intact preschool children is likely to result in seizure remediation, antiepileptic drug discontinuation, and no significant decrement in intelligence. The latter finding is particularly significant in light of the longstanding concern associated with performing resections in the language-dominant hemisphere. Importantly, shorter seizure duration prior to resection can result in improved cognitive outcome, suggesting that surgery for this population should occur sooner to help improve intelligence outcomes.

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Sandra L. Poliachik, Andrew V. Poliakov, Laura A. Jansen, Sharon S. McDaniel, Carter D. Wray, John Kuratani, Russell P. Saneto, Jeffrey G. Ojemann, and Edward J. Novotny Jr

Object

Imaging-guided surgery (IGS) systems are widely used in neurosurgical practice. During epilepsy surgery, the authors routinely use IGS landmarks to localize intracranial electrodes and/or specific brain regions. The authors have developed a technique to coregister these landmarks with pre- and postoperative scans and the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) standard space brain MRI to allow 1) localization and identification of tissue anatomy; and 2) identification of Brodmann areas (BAs) of the tissue resected during epilepsy surgery. Tracking tissue in this fashion allows for better correlation of patient outcome to clinical factors, functional neuroimaging findings, and pathological characteristics and molecular studies of resected tissue.

Methods

Tissue samples were collected in 21 patients. Coordinates from intraoperative tissue localization were downloaded from the IGS system and transformed into patient space, as defined by preoperative high-resolution T1-weighted MRI volume. Tissue landmarks in patient space were then transformed into MNI standard space for identification of the BAs of the tissue samples.

Results

Anatomical locations of resected tissue were identified from the intraoperative resection landmarks. The BAs were identified for 17 of the 21 patients. The remaining patients had abnormal brain anatomy that could not be meaningfully coregistered with the MNI standard brain without causing extensive distortion.

Conclusions

This coregistration and landmark tracking technique allows localization of tissue that is resected from patients with epilepsy and identification of the BAs for each resected region. The ability to perform tissue localization allows investigators to relate preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative functional and anatomical brain imaging to better understand patient outcomes, improve patient safety, and aid in research.