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Carlo Serra, Kevin Akeret, Victor E. Staartjes, Georgia Ramantani, Thomas Grunwald, Hennric Jokeit, Julia Bauer, and Niklaus Krayenbühl

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to assess the reproducibility and safety of the recently introduced paramedian supracerebellar–transtentorial (PST) approach for selective amygdalohippocampectomy (SA).

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data originating from their surgical register of patients undergoing SA via a PST approach for lesional medial temporal lobe epilepsy. All patients received thorough pre- and postoperative clinical (neurological, neuropsychological, psychiatric) and instrumental (ictal and long-term EEG, invasive EEG if needed, MRI) workup. Surgery-induced complications were assessed at discharge and at every follow-up thereafter and were classified according to Clavien-Dindo grade (CDG). Epilepsy outcome was defined according to Engel classification. Data were reported according to common descriptive statistical methods.

RESULTS

Between May 2015 and May 2018, 17 patients underwent SA via a PST approach at the authors’ institution (hippocampal sclerosis in 13 cases, WHO grade II glioma in 2 cases, and reactive gliosis in 2 cases). The median postoperative follow-up was 7 months (mean 9 months, range 3–19 months). There was no surgery-related mortality and no complication (CDG ≥ 2) in the whole series. Transitory CDG 1 surgical complications occurred in 4 patients and had resolved in all of them by the first postoperative follow-up. One patient showed a deterioration of neuropsychological performance with new slight mnestic deficits. No patient experienced a clinically relevant postoperative visual field defect. No morbidity due to semisitting position was recorded. At last follow-up 13/17 (76.4%) patients were in Engel class I (9/17 [52.9%] were in class IA).

CONCLUSIONS

The PST approach is a reproducible and safe surgical route for SA. The achievable complication rate is in line with the best results in the literature. Visual function outcome particularly benefits from this highly selective, neocortex-sparing approach. A larger patient sample and longer follow-up will show in the future if the seizure control rate and neuropsychological outcome also compare better than those achieved with current common surgical techniques.

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Kevin Akeret, David Bellut, Hans-Jürgen Huppertz, Georgia Ramantani, Kristina König, Carlo Serra, Luca Regli, and Niklaus Krayenbühl

OBJECTIVE

Surgery has proven to be the best therapeutic option for drug-refractory cases of focal cortical dysplasia (FCD)–associated epilepsy. Seizure outcome primarily depends on the completeness of resection, rendering the intraoperative FCD identification and delineation particularly important. This study aims to assess the diagnostic yield of intraoperative ultrasound (IOUS) in surgery for FCD-associated drug-refractory epilepsy.

METHODS

The authors prospectively enrolled 15 consecutive patients with drug-refractory epilepsy who underwent an IOUS-assisted microsurgical resection of a radiologically suspected FCD between January 2013 and July 2016. The findings of IOUS were compared with those of presurgical MRI postprocessing and the sonographic characteristics were analyzed in relation to the histopathological findings. The authors investigated the added value of IOUS in achieving completeness of resection and improving postsurgical seizure outcome.

RESULTS

The neurosurgeon was able to identify the dysplastic tissue by IOUS in all cases. The visualization of FCD type I was more challenging compared to FCD II and the demarcation of its borders was less clear. Postsurgical MRI showed residual dysplasia in 2 of the 3 patients with FCD type I. In all FCD type II cases, IOUS allowed for a clear intraoperative visualization and demarcation, strongly correlating with presurgical MRI postprocessing. Postsurgical MRI confirmed complete resection in all FCD type II cases. Sonographic features correlated with the histopathological classification of dysplasia (sonographic abnormalities increase continuously in the following order: FCD IA/IB, FCD IC, FCD IIA, FCD IIB). In 1 patient with IOUS features atypical for FCD, histopathological investigation showed nonspecific gliosis.

CONCLUSIONS

Morphological features of FCD, as identified by IOUS, correlate well with advanced presurgical imaging. The resolution of IOUS was superior to MRI in all FCD types. The appreciation of distinct sonographic features on IOUS allows the intraoperative differentiation between FCD and non-FCD lesions as well as the discrimination of different histological subtypes of FCD. Sonographic demarcation depends on the underlying degree of dysplasia. IOUS allows for more tailored resections by facilitating the delineation of the dysplastic tissue.