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  • Author or Editor: Johannes Schramm x
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Johannes Schramm, Ales F. Aliashkevich and Thomas Grunwald

Object. The authors describe patient characteristics, surgical methods, complications, and outcome over time in a cohort of patients who underwent multiple subpial transection (MST) without concomitant cortical resection.

Methods. Twenty consecutive patients in whom drug-resistant epilepsy had been diagnosed a mean of 16 ± 9 years earlier (mean ± standard deviation [SD]) were treated with MST without cortical resection. The mean follow-up period was 49.3 ± 18.3 months (mean ± SD, median 58 months). At 12 months of follow up, two of the 20 patients were Engel Class I, one was Class II, six were Class III, and 11 were Class IV. At latest follow up, one patient was Engel Class I, one was Class II, seven were Class III, and 11 were Class IV.

According to an alternative five-tiered classification system, two outcomes were excellent, seven were good, one was fair, nine were poor, and one was worse. Outcome was found to be better in patients with no lesions observed on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, and worse in those with large MST areas. Outcome had a tendency to change (this occurred in 13 of 20 cases). Five patients (25%) improved and seven (35%) deteriorated in Engel outcome class, and in one (5%) both developments occurred over time. Most outcome class changes occurred before the end of the 2nd year (nine), and four were observed in the 5th year. There where seven transient neurological deficits and four surgical complications. There was no permanent significant morbidity, and there were no deaths.

Conclusions. Forty-five percent of patients achieved a worthwhile improvement after pure MST, if Engel outcome Class III is deemed a worthwhile improvement. The alternative five-tiered classification resulted in 50% with worthwhile improvement (excellent, good, or fair outcome), 45% with poor, and 5% with worse outcome. Lesions that are detectable on MR imaging, and large MST areas are predictive of worse results. Significant intraoperative problems may arise, but this happens infrequently. There is a notable rate of transient morbidity but the rate of permanent morbidity is not significant.

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Johannes Schramm, Thomas Kral, Thomas Grunwald and Ingmar Blümcke

Object. The goal of this paper was to describe the clinical and surgical aspects of a group of patients suffering from drug-resistant neocortical temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), as well as seizure outcomes and factors affecting seizure outcomes in these patients.

Methods. This study was based on data prospectively collected and retrospectively evaluated. Sixty-two patients with neocortical TLE constituted the study population. Only patients who underwent corticectomies, lesionectomies, lateral anterior lobe resections, and/or multiple subpial transections were included. The pathological areas resected in these patients could be separated into three groups composed of 35 neoplastic lesions, 23 nonneoplastic lesions, and three nonlesional areas. The mean duration of follow-up review in these patients was 21.9 ± 14 months.

Outcomes were categorized according to Engel classes. Class I was found in 79% of the patients and Class II in 11%. Invasive presurgical evaluation was performed in 43% of the patients. There were only temporary complications (3.3% surgical and 1.6% neurological) and no deaths. In summary, lesions confirmed on histological examination were rarely found in patients with neocortical TLE. Low-grade tumors were the most commonly found lesions in these patients and the most common tumor was ganglioglioma. Outcome was best for those patients with neoplastic lesions and was independent of the duration of their seizures. Outcome was little influenced by the type of resection performed and was found to be as good as that achieved in patients with mesial TLE.

Conclusions. These results demonstrate that the concept of lateral or neocortical TLE as a distinct entity is useful. Surgery for neocortical TLE can be considered a viable treatment option that is associated with a low morbidity rate and good outcomes.

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Josef Zentner, Helmut K. Wolf, Christof Helmstaedter, Thomas Grunwald, Ales F. Aliashkevich, Otmar D. Wiestler, Christian E. Elger and Johannes Schramm

Object. The goal of this study was to define the incidence and clinical significance of amygdala sclerosis (AS) in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE).

Methods. Surgical specimens of the lateral amygdaloid nucleus and the hippocampus excised from 71 patients who were treated for medically intractable TLE were quantitatively evaluated using a computer-assisted image-analysis system and compared with 10 normal autopsy specimens. Densities of neurons and reactive astrocytes in the patients with TLE were correlated with clinical, neuropsychological, and depth-electroencephalography data. The neuron counts of the lateral amygdaloid nucleus did not correlate with various presumed etiological factors of TLE including hereditary seizures, birth complications, febrile convulsions, traumatic brain injury, infections, seizure semiology, and epileptological outcome. However, patient age at surgery was significantly higher (mean difference 10 years) when AS was present, as compared with patients without AS (p < 0.01). Seizure origin, as determined by using amygdalohippocampal depth electrodes, did not correlate with the presence or absence of AS. Neuropsychologically, there was a significant correlation between the neuronal densities of the lateral amygdaloid nucleus and both preoperative visual recognition and postoperative deterioration of short-term verbal memory performance (p < 0.05).

Conclusions. Except for the relatively long history of epilepsy, the presence of AS is not associated with specific clinical or electrocorticographic features of mesial TLE. However, patients without AS are particularly at risk for deterioration of short-term verbal memory following amygdalohippocampectomy.