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Yasunori Nagahama, Alan J. Schmitt, Daichi Nakagawa, Adam S. Vesole, Janina Kamm, Christopher K. Kovach, David Hasan, Mark Granner, Brian J. Dlouhy, Matthew A. Howard III and Hiroto Kawasaki

OBJECTIVE

Intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) provides valuable information that guides clinical decision-making in patients undergoing epilepsy surgery, but it carries technical challenges and risks. The technical approaches used and reported rates of complications vary across institutions and evolve over time with increasing experience. In this report, the authors describe the strategy at the University of Iowa using both surface and depth electrodes and analyze outcomes and complications.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review and analysis of all patients who underwent craniotomy and electrode implantation from January 2006 through December 2015 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The basic demographic and clinical information was collected, including electrode coverage, monitoring results, outcomes, and complications. The correlations between clinically significant complications with various clinical variables were analyzed using multivariate analysis. The Fisher exact test was used to evaluate a change in the rate of complications over the study period.

RESULTS

Ninety-one patients (mean age 29 ± 14 years, range 3–62 years), including 22 pediatric patients, underwent iEEG. Subdural surface (grid and/or strip) electrodes were utilized in all patients, and depth electrodes were also placed in 89 (97.8%) patients. The total number of electrode contacts placed per patient averaged 151 ± 58. The duration of invasive monitoring averaged 12.0 ± 5.1 days. In 84 (92.3%) patients, a seizure focus was localized by ictal onset (82 cases) or inferred based on interictal discharges (2 patients). Localization was achieved based on data obtained from surface electrodes alone (29 patients), depth electrodes alone (13 patients), or a combination of both surface and depth electrodes (42 patients). Seventy-two (79.1%) patients ultimately underwent resective surgery. Forty-seven (65.3%) and 18 (25.0%) patients achieved modified Engel class I and II outcomes, respectively. The mean follow-up duration was 3.9 ± 2.9 (range 0.1–10.5) years. Clinically significant complications occurred in 8 patients, including hematoma in 3 (3.3%) patients, infection/osteomyelitis in 3 (3.3%) patients, and edema/compression in 2 (2.2%) patients. One patient developed a permanent neurological deficit (1.1%), and there were no deaths. The hemorrhagic and edema/compression complications correlated significantly with the total number of electrode contacts (p = 0.01), but not with age, a history of prior cranial surgery, laterality, monitoring duration, and the number of each electrode type. The small number of infectious complications precluded multivariate analysis. The number of complications decreased from 5 of 36 cases (13.9%) to 3 of 55 cases (5.5%) during the first and last 5 years, respectively, but this change was not statistically significant (p = 0.26).

CONCLUSIONS

An iEEG implantation strategy that makes use of both surface and depth electrodes is safe and effective at identifying seizure foci in patients with medically refractory epilepsy. With experience and iterative refinement of technical surgical details, the risk of complications has decreased over time.

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Yasunori Nagahama, Alan J. Schmitt, Daichi Nakagawa, Adam S. Vesole, Janina Kamm, Christopher K. Kovach, David Hasan, Mark Granner, Brian J. Dlouhy, Matthew A. Howard III and Hiroto Kawasaki

OBJECTIVE

Intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) provides valuable information that guides clinical decision-making in patients undergoing epilepsy surgery, but it carries technical challenges and risks. The technical approaches used and reported rates of complications vary across institutions and evolve over time with increasing experience. In this report, the authors describe the strategy at the University of Iowa using both surface and depth electrodes and analyze outcomes and complications.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review and analysis of all patients who underwent craniotomy and electrode implantation from January 2006 through December 2015 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The basic demographic and clinical information was collected, including electrode coverage, monitoring results, outcomes, and complications. The correlations between clinically significant complications with various clinical variables were analyzed using multivariate analysis. The Fisher exact test was used to evaluate a change in the rate of complications over the study period.

RESULTS

Ninety-one patients (mean age 29 ± 14 years, range 3–62 years), including 22 pediatric patients, underwent iEEG. Subdural surface (grid and/or strip) electrodes were utilized in all patients, and depth electrodes were also placed in 89 (97.8%) patients. The total number of electrode contacts placed per patient averaged 151 ± 58. The duration of invasive monitoring averaged 12.0 ± 5.1 days. In 84 (92.3%) patients, a seizure focus was localized by ictal onset (82 cases) or inferred based on interictal discharges (2 patients). Localization was achieved based on data obtained from surface electrodes alone (29 patients), depth electrodes alone (13 patients), or a combination of both surface and depth electrodes (42 patients). Seventy-two (79.1%) patients ultimately underwent resective surgery. Forty-seven (65.3%) and 18 (25.0%) patients achieved modified Engel class I and II outcomes, respectively. The mean follow-up duration was 3.9 ± 2.9 (range 0.1–10.5) years. Clinically significant complications occurred in 8 patients, including hematoma in 3 (3.3%) patients, infection/osteomyelitis in 3 (3.3%) patients, and edema/compression in 2 (2.2%) patients. One patient developed a permanent neurological deficit (1.1%), and there were no deaths. The hemorrhagic and edema/compression complications correlated significantly with the total number of electrode contacts (p = 0.01), but not with age, a history of prior cranial surgery, laterality, monitoring duration, and the number of each electrode type. The small number of infectious complications precluded multivariate analysis. The number of complications decreased from 5 of 36 cases (13.9%) to 3 of 55 cases (5.5%) during the first and last 5 years, respectively, but this change was not statistically significant (p = 0.26).

CONCLUSIONS

An iEEG implantation strategy that makes use of both surface and depth electrodes is safe and effective at identifying seizure foci in patients with medically refractory epilepsy. With experience and iterative refinement of technical surgical details, the risk of complications has decreased over time.

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Yasunori Nagahama, Alan J. Schmitt, Brian J. Dlouhy, Adam S. Vesole, Phillip E. Gander, Christopher K. Kovach, Daichi Nakagawa, Mark A. Granner, Matthew A. Howard III and Hiroto Kawasaki

OBJECTIVE

The epileptogenic zones in some patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) involve regions outside the typical extent of anterior temporal lobectomy (i.e., “temporal plus epilepsy”), including portions of the supratemporal plane (STP). Failure to identify this subset of patients and adjust the surgical plan accordingly results in suboptimum surgical outcomes. There are unique technical challenges associated with obtaining recordings from the STP. The authors sought to examine the clinical utility and safety of placing depth electrodes within the STP in patients with TLE.

METHODS

This study is a retrospective review and analysis of all cases in which patients underwent intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) with use of at least one STP depth electrode over the 10 years from January 2006 through December 2015 at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Basic clinical information was collected, including the presence of ictal auditory symptoms, electrode coverage, monitoring results, resection extent, outcomes, and complications. Additionally, cases in which the temporal lobe was primarily or secondarily involved in seizure onset and propagation were categorized based upon how rapidly epileptic activity was observed within the STP following seizure onsets: within 1 second, between 1 and 15 seconds, after 15 seconds, and not involved.

RESULTS

Fifty-two patients underwent iEEG with STP coverage, with 1 STP electrode used in 45 (86.5%) cases and 2 STP electrodes in the other cases. There were no complications related to STP electrode placement. Of 42 cases in which the temporal lobe was primarily or secondarily involved, seizure activity was recorded from the STP in 36 cases (85.7%): in 5 cases (11.9%) within 1 second, in 5 (11.9%) between 1 and 15 seconds, and in 26 (61.9%) more than 15 seconds following seizure onset. Seizure outcomes inversely correlated with rapid ictal involvement of the STP (Engel class I achieved in 25%, 67%, and 82% of patients in the above categories, respectively). All patients without ictal STP involvement achieved seizure freedom. Only 4 (11.1%) patients with STP ictal involvement reported auditory symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS

Ictal involvement of the STP is common even in the absence of auditory symptoms and can be effectively detected by the STP electrodes. These electrodes are safe to implant and provide useful prognostic information.