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Byung-Euk Joo, Sang-Ku Park, Kyung-Rae Cho, Doo-Sik Kong, Dae-Won Seo and Kwan Park

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to define a new protocol for intraoperative monitoring (IOM) of brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs) during microvascular decompression (MVD) surgery to treat hemifacial spasm (HFS) and to evaluate the usefulness of this new protocol to prevent hearing impairment.

METHODS

To define the optimal stimulation rate, estimate the number of trials to be averaged, and identify useful warning criteria in IOM of BAEPs, the authors performed a preliminary study of 13 patients with HFS in 2010. They increased the stimulation rate from 10.1 Hz/sec to 100.1 Hz/sec by 10-Hz increments, and they elevated the average time from 100 times to 1000 times by 100-unit increments at a fixed stimulus rate of 43.9 Hz. After defining the optimal stimulation rate and the number of trials that needed to be averaged for IOM of BAEPs, they also identified the useful warning criteria for this protocol for MVD surgery. From January to December 2013, 254 patients with HFS underwent MVD surgery following the new IOM of BAEPs protocol. Pure-tone audiometry and speech discrimination scoring were performed before surgery and 1 week after surgery. To evaluate the usefulness of the new protocol, the authors compared the incidence of postoperative hearing impairment with the results from the group that underwent MVD surgery prior to the new protocol.

RESULTS

Through a preliminary study, the authors confirmed that it was possible to obtain a reliable wave when using a stimulation rate of 43.9 Hz/sec and averaging 400 trials. Only a Wave V amplitude loss > 50% was useful as a warning criterion when using the new protocol. A reliable BAEP could be obtained in approximately 9.1 seconds. When the new protocol was used, 2 patients (0.8%) showed no recovery of Wave V amplitude loss > 50%, and only 1 of those 2 patients (0.39%) ultimately had postoperative hearing impairment. When compared with the outcomes in the pre-protocol group, hearing impairment incidence decreased significantly among patients who underwent surgery with the new protocol (0.39% vs 4.02%, p = 0.002). There were no significant differences between the 2 surgery groups regarding other complications, including facial palsy, sixth cranial nerve palsy, and vocal cord palsy.

CONCLUSIONS

There was a significant decrease in postoperative hearing impairment after MVD for HFS when the new protocol for IOM of BAEPs was used. Real-time IOM of BAEPs, which can obtain a reliable BAEP in less than 10 seconds, is a successful new procedure for preventing hearing impairment during MVD surgery for HFS.

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Wendy Guo, Bang-Bon Koo, Jae-Hun Kim, Rafeeque A. Bhadelia, Dae-Won Seo, Seung Bong Hong, Eun Yeon Joo, Seunghoon Lee, Jung-Il Lee, Kyung Rae Cho and Young-Min Shon

OBJECTIVE

The anterior thalamic nucleus (ATN) is a common target for deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of drug-refractory epilepsy. However, no atlas-based optimal DBS (active contacts) target within the ATN has been definitively identified. The object of this retrospective study was to analyze the relationship between the active contact location and seizure reduction to establish an atlas-based optimal target for ATN DBS.

METHODS

From among 25 patients who had undergone ATN DBS surgery for drug-resistant epilepsy between 2016 and 2018, those who had follow-up evaluations for more than 1 year were eligible for study inclusion. After an initial stimulation period of 6 months, patients were classified as responsive (≥ 50% median decrease in seizure frequency) or nonresponsive (< 50% median decrease in seizure frequency) to treatment. Stimulation parameters and/or active contact positions were adjusted in nonresponsive patients, and their responsiveness was monitored for at least 1 year. Postoperative CT scans were coregistered nonlinearly with preoperative MR images to determine the center coordinate and atlas-based anatomical localizations of all active contacts in the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) 152 space.

RESULTS

Nineteen patients with drug-resistant epilepsy were followed up for at least a year following bilateral DBS electrode implantation targeting the ATN. Active contacts located more adjacent to the center of gravity of the anterior half of the ATN volume, defined as the anterior center (AC), were associated with greater seizure reduction than those not in this location. Intriguingly, the initially nonresponsive patients could end up with much improved seizure reduction by adjusting the active contacts closer to the AC at the final postoperative follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with stimulation targeting the AC may have a favorable seizure reduction. Moreover, the authors were able to obtain additional good outcomes after electrode repositioning in the initially nonresponsive patients. Purposeful and strategic trajectory planning to target this optimal region may predict favorable outcomes of ATN DBS.

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Seung-Chyul Hong, Kwan-Soo Kang, Dae Won Seo, Seung Bong Hong, Munhyang Lee, Do-Hyun Nam, Jung-Il Lee, Jong Soo Kim, Hyung-Jin Shin, Kwan Park, Whan Eoh, Yeon-Lim Suh and Jong-Hyun Kim

Object. Surgical treatment of cortical dysplasia (CD) together with intractable seizures is challenging because both visualization and localization of the lesion are difficult, correlation with seizure foci requires comprehensive study, and the surgical outcomes reported thus far are unsatisfactory. The authors report their experience in the surgical treatment of CD classified according to a surgical point of view.

Methods. The definition of CD used in this study was a dysplastic lesion visible on magnetic resonance (MR) images or a lesion that, although not visible on MR images, was diagnosed as moderate-to-severe dysplasia by using pathological analysis. During the last 4.5 years, the authors treated 36 patients with intractable epilepsy accompanied by CD. They divided the 36 cases of CD into four characteristic groups: Group A, diffuse bilateral hemispheric dysplasia; Group B, diffuse lobar dysplasia; Group C, focal dysplasia; and Group D, a moderate to severe degree of CD with a normal appearance on MR images. All but one patient in Group C were monitored in the epilepsy monitoring unit by using subdural electrodes for seizure localization and functional mapping.

The incidence of CD among a cohort of 291 patients who had undergone epilepsy surgery at the authors' center during the study period was 12.4%. The mean age of the 36 patients was 21.3 years and the mean age at seizure onset was 8.5 years. The mean follow-up period was 26 months. Twenty-six patients (72.2%) belonged to Engel Class I or II (20 and six, respectively). There were five cases in Group A, nine in Group B, nine in Group C, and 13 in Group D. Patients in Groups A and B were significantly younger at seizure onset and had significantly poorer surgical outcomes compared with patients in Groups C and D (p < 0.05). If outcome is compared on the basis of the extent of removal of CD, patients in whom CD was completely removed had significantly better outcomes than those in whom CD was only partially removed (p < 0.001).

Conclusions. The authors conclude that intractable epilepsy accompanied by CD can be treated surgically using comprehensive preoperative approaches. Deliberate resective procedures aimed at complete removal of dysplastic tissue ensure excellent seizure control without permanent neurological deficit.