Diffusion tensor tractography and epilepsy
Fredric B. Meyer
Sophie Colnat-Coulbois, Kelvin Mok, Denise Klein, Sidonie Pénicaud, Taner Tanriverdi and André Olivier
The aim of this study was to evaluate, using diffusion tensor tractography, the white matter fibers crossing the hippocampus and the amygdala, and to perform a volumetric analysis and an anatomical study of the connections of these 2 structures. As a second step, the authors studied the white matter tracts crossing a virtual volume of resection corresponding to a selective amygdalohippocampectomy.
Twenty healthy right-handed individuals underwent 3-T MR imaging. Volumetric regions of interest were manually created to delineate the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the volume of resection. White matter fiber tracts were parcellated using the fiber assignment for continuous tracking tractography algorithm. All fibers were registered with the anatomical volumes.
In all participants, the authors identified fibers following the hippocampus toward the fornix, the splenium of the corpus callosum, and the dorsal hippocampal commissure. With respect to the fibers crossing the amygdala, the authors identified the stria terminalis and the uncinate fasciculus. The virtual resection disrupted part of the fornix, fibers connecting the 2 hippocampi, and fibers joining the orbitofrontal cortex. The approach created a theoretical frontotemporal disconnection and also interrupted fibers joining the temporal pole and the occipital area.
This diffusion tensor tractography study allowed for good visualization of some of the connections of the amygdala and hippocampus. The authors observed that the virtual selective amygdalohippocampectomy disconnected a large number of fibers connecting frontal, temporal, and occipital areas.
Taner Tanriverdi, Roy William Roland Dudley, Alya Hasan, Ahmed Al Jishi, Qasim Al Hinai, Nicole Poulin, M.Ed., Sophie Colnat-Coulbois and André Olivier
The aim of this study was to compare IQ and memory outcomes at the 1-year follow-up in patients with medically refractory mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) due to hippocampal sclerosis. All patients were treated using a corticoamygdalohippocampectomy (CAH) or a selective amygdalohippocampectomy (SelAH).
The data of 256 patients who underwent surgery for MTLE were retrospectively evaluated. One hundred twenty-three patients underwent a CAH (63 [right side] and 60 [left side]), and 133 underwent an SelAH (61 [right side] and 72 [left side]). A comprehensive neuropsychological test battery was assessed before and 1 year after surgery, and the results were compared between the surgical procedures. Furthermore, seizure outcome was compared using the Engel classification scheme.
At 1-year follow-up, there was no statistically significant difference between the surgical approaches with respect to seizure outcome. Overall, IQ scores showed improvement, but verbal IQ decreased after left SelAH. Verbal memory impairment was seen after left-sided resections especially in cases of SelAH, and nonverbal memory decreased after right-sided resection, especially for CAH. Left-sided resections produced some improvement in nonverbal memory. Older age at surgery, longer duration of seizures, greater seizure frequency before surgery, and poor seizure control after surgery were associated with poorer memory.
Both CAH and SelAH can lead to several cognitive impairments depending on the side of the surgery. The authors suggest that the optimal type of surgical approach should be decided on a case-by-case basis.