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  • Author or Editor: Christoph Baumgartner x
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Klaus Novak, Thomas Czech, Daniela Prayer, Wolfgang Dietrich, Wolfgang Serles, Stephan Lehr and Christoph Baumgartner

Object. The concept of selective amygdalohippocampectomy is based on pathophysiological insights into the epileptogenicity of the hippocampal region and the definition of the clinical syndrome of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). High-resolution magnetic resonance (MR) imaging allows correlation of the site of histologically conspicuous tissue with anatomical structure. The highly variable sulcal pattern of the basal temporal lobe, however, definitely complicates the morphometric analysis of histomorphologically defined subdivisions of the hippocampal region. The goal of this study was to define individual variations in the sulcal anatomy on the basis of preoperative MR images obtained in patients suffering from TLE.

Methods. The authors analyzed coronal MR images obtained in 50 patients for the presence of and intrinsic relationships among the rhinal, collateral, and occipitotemporal sulci. The surface relief of consecutive sections of 100 temporal lobes was graphically outlined and the resulting maps were used for visual analysis. The sulci were characterized by measurement of their depth, distance to the temporal horn, and laterality. The anatomical measurements and frequencies of sulcal patterns were assessed for statistical correlation with patients' histories and the lateralization of the seizure focus.

Conclusions. Statistical assessment shows that patient sex is a significant factor in sulcal patterns. Anatomical measurements are significantly decreased on the side of the seizure origin, which relates to loss of white matter, a known morphological abnormality associated with TLE. Magnetic resonance imaging allows for accurate preoperative knowledge of individual sulcal patterns and facilitates intraoperative orientation to anatomical landmarks.

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Christian Dorfer, Georgi Minchev, Thomas Czech, Harald Stefanits, Martha Feucht, Ekaterina Pataraia, Christoph Baumgartner, Gernot Kronreif and Stefan Wolfsberger

OBJECTIVE

The authors' group recently published a novel technique for a navigation-guided frameless stereotactic approach for the placement of depth electrodes in epilepsy patients. To improve the accuracy of the trajectory and enhance the procedural workflow, the authors implemented the iSys1 miniature robotic device in the present study into this routine.

METHODS

As a first step, a preclinical phantom study was performed using a human skull model, and the accuracy and timing between 5 electrodes implanted with the manual technique and 5 with the aid of the robot were compared. After this phantom study showed an increased accuracy with robot-assisted electrode placement and confirmed the robot's ability to maintain stability despite the rotational forces and the leverage effect from drilling and screwing, patients were enrolled and analyzed for robot-assisted depth electrode placement at the authors' institution from January 2014 to December 2015. All procedures were performed with the S7 Surgical Navigation System with Synergy Cranial software and the iSys1 miniature robotic device.

RESULTS

Ninety-three electrodes were implanted in 16 patients (median age 33 years, range 3–55 years; 9 females, 7 males). The authors saw a significant increase in accuracy compared with their manual technique, with a median deviation from the planned entry and target points of 1.3 mm (range 0.1–3.4 mm) and 1.5 mm (range 0.3–6.7 mm), respectively. For the last 5 patients (31 electrodes) of this series the authors modified their technique in placing a guide for implantation of depth electrodes (GIDE) on the bone and saw a significant further increase in the accuracy at the entry point to 1.18 ± 0.5 mm (mean ± SD) compared with 1.54 ± 0.8 mm for the first 11 patients (p = 0.021). The median length of the trajectories was 45.4 mm (range 19–102.6 mm). The mean duration of depth electrode placement from the start of trajectory alignment to fixation of the electrode was 15.7 minutes (range 8.5–26.6 minutes), which was significantly faster than with the manual technique. In 12 patients, depth electrode placement was combined with subdural electrode placement. The procedure was well tolerated in all patients. The authors did not encounter any case of hemorrhage or neurological deficit related to the electrode placement. In 1 patient with a psoriasis vulgaris, a superficial wound infection was encountered. Adequate physiological recordings were obtained from all electrodes. No additional electrodes had to be implanted because of misplacement.

CONCLUSIONS

The iSys1 robotic device is a versatile and easy to use tool for frameless implantation of depth electrodes for the treatment of epilepsy. It increased the accuracy of the authors' manual technique by 60% at the entry point and over 30% at the target. It further enhanced and expedited the authors' procedural workflow.

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Christian Dorfer, Thomas Czech, Susanne Aull-Watschinger, Christoph Baumgartner, Rebekka Jung, Gregor Kasprian, Klaus Novak, Susanne Pirker, Birgit Seidl, Harald Stefanits, Karin Trimmel and Ekaterina Pataraia

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to present long-term seizure outcome data in a consecutive series of patients with refractory mesial temporal lobe epilepsy primarily treated with transsylvian selective amygdalohippocampectomy (SAHE).

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed prospectively collected data for all patients who had undergone resective surgery for medically refractory epilepsy at their institution between July 1994 and December 2014. Seizure outcome was assessed according to the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) and the Engel classifications.

RESULTS

The authors performed an SAHE in 158 patients (78 males, 80 females; 73 right side, 85 left side) with a mean age of 37.1 ± 10.0 years at surgery. Four patients lost to follow-up and 1 patient who committed suicide were excluded from analysis. The mean follow-up period was 9.7 years. At the last available follow-up (or before reoperation), 68 patients (44.4%) had achieved an outcome classified as ILAE Class 1a, 46 patients (30.1%) Class 1, 6 patients (3.9%) Class 2, 16 patients (10.4%) Class 3, 15 patients (9.8%) Class 4, and 2 patients (1.3%) Class 5. These outcomes correspond to Engel Class I in 78.4% of the patients, Engel Class II in 10.5%, Engel Class III in 8.5%, and Engel Class IV in 2.0%. Eleven patients underwent a second surgery (anterior temporal lobectomy) after a mean of 4.4 years from the SAHE (left side in 6 patients, right side in 5). Eight (72.7%) of these 11 patients achieved seizure freedom.

The overall ILEA seizure outcome since (re)operation after a mean follow-up of 10.0 years was Class 1a in 72 patients (47.0%), Class 1 in 50 patients (32.6%), Class 2 in 7 patients (4.6%), Class 3 in 15 patients (9.8%), Class 4 in 8 patients (5.2%), and Class 5 in 1 patient (0.6%). These outcomes correspond to an Engel Class I outcome in 84.3% of the patients.

CONCLUSIONS

A satisfactory long-term seizure outcome following transsylvian SAHE was demonstrated in a selected group of patients with refractory temporal lobe epilepsy.

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Olivia Foesleitner, Benjamin Sigl, Victor Schmidbauer, Karl-Heinz Nenning, Ekaterina Pataraia, Lisa Bartha-Doering, Christoph Baumgartner, Susanne Pirker, Doris Moser, Michelle Schwarz, Johannes A. Hainfellner, Thomas Czech, Christian Dorfer, Georg Langs, Daniela Prayer, Silvia Bonelli and Gregor Kasprian

OBJECTIVE

Epilepsy surgery is the recommended treatment option for patients with drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). This method offers a good chance of seizure freedom but carries a considerable risk of postoperative language impairment. The extremely variable neurocognitive profiles in surgical epilepsy patients cannot be fully explained by extent of resection, fiber integrity, or current task-based functional MRI (fMRI). In this study, the authors aimed to investigate pathology- and surgery-triggered language organization in TLE by using fMRI activation and network analysis as well as considering structural and neuropsychological measures.

METHODS

Twenty-eight patients with unilateral TLE (16 right, 12 left) underwent T1-weighted imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, and task-based language fMRI pre- and postoperatively (n = 15 anterior temporal lobectomy, n = 11 selective amygdalohippocampectomy, n = 2 focal resection). Twenty-two healthy subjects served as the control cohort. Functional connectivity, activation maps, and laterality indices for language dominance were analyzed from fMRI data. Postoperative fractional anisotropy values of 7 major tracts were calculated. Naming, semantic, and phonematic verbal fluency scores before and after surgery were correlated with imaging parameters.

RESULTS

fMRI network analysis revealed widespread, bihemispheric alterations in language architecture that were not captured by activation analysis. These network changes were found preoperatively and proceeded after surgery with characteristic patterns in the left and right TLEs. Ipsilesional fronto-temporal connectivity decreased in both left and right TLE. In left TLE specifically, preoperative atypical language dominance predicted better postoperative verbal fluency and naming function. In right TLE, left frontal language dominance correlated with good semantic verbal fluency before and after surgery, and left fronto-temporal language laterality predicted good naming outcome. Ongoing seizures after surgery (Engel classes ID–IV) were associated with naming deterioration irrespective of seizure side. Functional findings were not explained by the extent of resection or integrity of major white matter tracts.

CONCLUSIONS

Functional connectivity analysis contributes unique insight into bihemispheric remodeling processes of language networks after epilepsy surgery, with characteristic findings in left and right TLE. Presurgical contralateral language recruitment is associated with better postsurgical language outcome in left and right TLE.