Robot-assisted (RA) stereotactic MRI–guided laser ablation has been reported to be a safe and effective technique for the treatment of epileptogenic foci in children and adults. In this study the authors aimed to assess the accuracy of RA stereotactic MRI–guided laser fiber placement in children and to identify factors that might increase the risk of misplacement.
A retrospective single-institution review of all children from 2019 to 2022 who underwent RA stereotactic MRI–guided laser ablation for epilepsy was undertaken. Placement error was calculated at the target by measuring the Euclidean distance between the implanted laser fiber position and the preoperatively planned position. Collected data included age at surgery, sex, pathology, date of robot calibration, number of catheters, entry position, entry angle, extracranial soft-tissue thickness, bone thickness, and intracranial catheter length. A systematic review of the literature was also performed using Ovid Medline, Ovid Embase, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials.
In 28 children with epilepsy, the authors assessed 35 RA stereotactic MRI–guided laser ablation fiber placements. Twenty (71.4%) children had undergone ablation for hypothalamic hamartoma, 7 children (25.0%) for presumed insular focal cortical dysplasia, and 1 patient (3.6%) for periventricular nodular heterotopia. Nineteen children were male (67.9.%) and 9 were female (32.1%). The median age at the time of the procedure was 7.67 years (IQR 4.58–12.26 years). The median target point localization error (TPLE) was 1.27 mm (IQR 0.76–1.71 mm). The median offset error between the planned and actual trajectories was 1.04° (IQR 0.73°–1.46°). Patient age, sex, pathology and the time interval between date of surgery and robot calibration, entry position, entry angle, soft-tissue thickness, bone thickness, and intracranial length were not associated with the placement accuracy of the implanted laser fibers. However, the number of catheters placed did correlate with the offset angle error on univariate analysis (ρ = 0.387, p = 0.022). There were no immediate surgical complications. Meta-analysis indicated that the overall pooled mean TPLE was 1.46 mm (95% CI −0.58 to 3.49 mm).
RA stereotactic MRI–guided laser ablation for epilepsy in children is highly accurate. These data will aid surgical planning.