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Zulma Tovar-Spinoza, Robert Ziechmann, and Stephanie Zyck


Magnetic resonance–guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (MRgLITT) is a novel, minimally invasive treatment for the surgical treatment of epilepsy. In this paper, the authors report on clinical outcomes for a series of pediatric patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) and medication-refractory epileptogenic cortical tubers.


A retrospective chart review was performed at SUNY Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse, New York. The authors included all cases involving pediatric patients (< 18 years) who underwent MRgLITT for ablation of epileptogenic cortical tubers between February 2013 and November 2015.


Seven patients with cortical tubers were treated (4 female and 3 male). The patients’ average age was 6.6 years (range 2–17 years). Two patients had a single procedure, and 5 patients had staged procedures. The mean time between procedures in the staged cases was 6 months. All of the patients had a meaningful reduction in seizure frequency as reported by Engel and ILAE seizure outcome classifications, and most (71.4%) of the patients experienced a reduction in AED burden. Three of the 4 patients who presented with neuropsychiatric symptoms had some improvement in these domains after laser ablation. No perioperative complications were noted. The mean duration of follow-up was 19.3 months (range 4–49 months).


Laser ablation represents a minimally invasive alternative to resective epilepsy surgery and is an effective treatment for refractory epilepsy due to cortical tubers.