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Carter D. Wray, Diana L. Kraemer, Tong Yang, Sandra L. Poliachik, Andrew L. Ko, Andrew Poliakov, Adam O. Hebb, Edward J. Novotny and Jeffrey G. Ojemann

The presurgical evaluation of patients with epilepsy often requires an intracranial study in which both subdural grid electrodes and depth electrodes are needed. Performing a craniotomy for grid placement with a stereotactic frame in place can be problematic, especially in young children, leading some surgeons to consider frameless stereotaxy for such surgery. The authors report on the use of a system that uses electromagnetic impulses to track the tip of the depth electrode. Ten pediatric patients with medically refractory focal lobar epilepsy required placement of both subdural grid and intraparenchymal depth electrodes to map seizure onset. Presurgical frameless stereotaxic targeting was performed using a commercially available electromagnetic image-guided system. Freehand depth electrode placement was then performed with intraoperative guidance using an electromagnetic system that provided imaging of the tip of the electrode, something that has not been possible using visually or sonically based systems. Accuracy of placement of depth electrodes within the deep structures of interest was confirmed postoperatively using CT and CT/MR imaging fusion. Depth electrodes were appropriately placed in all patients. Electromagnetic-tracking–based stereotactic targeting improves the accuracy of freehand placement of depth electrodes in patients with medically refractory epilepsy. The ability to track the electrode tip, rather than the electrode tail, is a major feature that enhances accuracy. Additional advantages of electromagnetic frameless guidance are discussed.

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Carter D. Wray, Sharon S. McDaniel, Russell P. Saneto, Edward J. Novotny Jr. and Jeffrey G. Ojemann

Object

Intraoperative electrocorticography (ECoG) is commonly used to guide the extent of resection, especially in lesion-associated intractable epilepsy. Interictal epileptiform discharges on postresective ECoG (post-ECoG) have been predictive of seizure recurrence in some studies, particularly in adults undergoing medial temporal lobectomy, frontal lesionectomy, or low-grade glioma resection. The predictive value of postresective discharges in pediatric epilepsy surgery has not been extensively studied.

Methods

The authors retrospectively examined the charts of all 52 pediatric patients who had undergone surgery with post-ECoG and had more than 1 year of follow-up between October 1, 2003, and October 1, 2009.

Results

Of the 52 pediatric patients, 37 patients showed residual discharges at the end of their resection and 73% of these patients were seizure free, whereas 15 patients had no residual discharges and 60% of them were seizure-free, which was not significantly different (p = 0.36, chi-square).

Conclusions

Electrocorticography-guided surgery was associated with excellent postsurgical outcome. Although this sample size was too small to detect a subtle difference, absence of epileptiform discharges on post-ECoG does not appear to predict seizure freedom in all pediatric patients referred for epilepsy surgery. Future studies with larger study samples would be necessary to confirm this finding and determine whether post-ECoG may be useful in some subsets of pediatric epilepsy surgery candidates.

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Carter D. Wray, Tim M. Blakely, Sandra L. Poliachik, Andrew Poliakov, Sharon S. McDaniel, Edward J. Novotny, Kai J. Miller and Jeffrey G. Ojemann

Object

The gold-standard method for determining cortical functional organization in the context of neurosurgical intervention is electrical cortical stimulation (ECS), which disrupts normal cortical function to evoke movement. This technique is imprecise, however, as motor responses are not limited to the precentral gyrus. Electrical cortical stimulation also can trigger seizures, is not always tolerated, and is often unsuccessful, especially in children. Alternatively, endogenous motor and sensory signals can be mapped by somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs), functional MRI (fMRI), and electrocorticography of high gamma (70–150 Hz) signal power, which reflect normal cortical function. The authors evaluated whether these 4 modalities of mapping sensorimotor function in children produce concurrent results.

Methods

The authors retrospectively examined the charts of all patients who underwent epilepsy surgery at Seattle Children's Hospital between July 20, 1999, and July 1, 2011, and they included all patients in whom the primary motor or somatosensory cortex was localized via 2 or more of the following tests: ECS, SSEP, fMRI, or high gamma electrocorticography (hgECoG).

Results

Inclusion criteria were met by 50 patients, whose mean age at operation was 10.6 years. The youngest patient who underwent hgECoG mapping was 2 years and 10 months old, which is younger than any patient reported on in the literature. The authors localized the putative sensorimotor cortex most often with hgECoG, followed by SSEP and fMRI; ECS was most likely to fail to localize the sensorimotor cortex.

Conclusions

Electrical cortical stimulation, SSEP, fMRI, and hgECoG generally produced concordant localization of motor and sensory function in children. When attempting to localize the sensorimotor cortex in children, hgECoG was more likely to produce results, was faster, safer, and did not require cooperation. The hgECoG maps in pediatric patients are similar to those in adult patients published in the literature. The sensorimotor cortex can be mapped by hgECoG and fMRI in children younger than 3 years old to localize cortical function.

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Sandra L. Poliachik, Andrew V. Poliakov, Laura A. Jansen, Sharon S. McDaniel, Carter D. Wray, John Kuratani, Russell P. Saneto, Jeffrey G. Ojemann and Edward J. Novotny Jr

Object

Imaging-guided surgery (IGS) systems are widely used in neurosurgical practice. During epilepsy surgery, the authors routinely use IGS landmarks to localize intracranial electrodes and/or specific brain regions. The authors have developed a technique to coregister these landmarks with pre- and postoperative scans and the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) standard space brain MRI to allow 1) localization and identification of tissue anatomy; and 2) identification of Brodmann areas (BAs) of the tissue resected during epilepsy surgery. Tracking tissue in this fashion allows for better correlation of patient outcome to clinical factors, functional neuroimaging findings, and pathological characteristics and molecular studies of resected tissue.

Methods

Tissue samples were collected in 21 patients. Coordinates from intraoperative tissue localization were downloaded from the IGS system and transformed into patient space, as defined by preoperative high-resolution T1-weighted MRI volume. Tissue landmarks in patient space were then transformed into MNI standard space for identification of the BAs of the tissue samples.

Results

Anatomical locations of resected tissue were identified from the intraoperative resection landmarks. The BAs were identified for 17 of the 21 patients. The remaining patients had abnormal brain anatomy that could not be meaningfully coregistered with the MNI standard brain without causing extensive distortion.

Conclusions

This coregistration and landmark tracking technique allows localization of tissue that is resected from patients with epilepsy and identification of the BAs for each resected region. The ability to perform tissue localization allows investigators to relate preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative functional and anatomical brain imaging to better understand patient outcomes, improve patient safety, and aid in research.