Intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) provides invaluable information in determining seizure focus and spread due to its high spatial and temporal resolution, which are not afforded by noninvasive studies. Electrodes of various types (e.g., grid, strip, and depth electrodes) and configurations are often used for optimum coverage of suspected areas of seizure onset and propagation. Given the fixed intracranial volume and added mass effect from placement of cortical electrodes, brain edema and postoperative deficits can occur.
The authors describe a simple, inexpensive, and highly effective technique of bone flap replacement using standard titanium plates to expand the intracranial volume and minimize risks of brain compression and intracranial hypertension. Rectangular titanium plates are bent and placed in a way that secures the bone flap in a slightly elevated position relative to the adjacent calvaria during iEEG monitoring. The authors evaluated the degree of bone flap elevation and amount of volume created using this technique in 3 iEEG cases. They then compared these results with the bone flap elevation and volume created using linear titanium plates, a method they had used previously. The use of rectangular plates produced on average 6.6 mm of bone flap elevation, compared with only 1.8 mm of bone flap elevation with the use of linear plates, resulting in a statistically significant 261% increase in bone flap elevation (p ≤ 0.001). The authors suggest that rectangular plates may provide stronger resistance to scalp tension after myocutaneous skin closure compared with the linear plates and that subsidence of the bone flap likely occurred with the use of linear plates. In summary, the described technique utilizing rectangular plates creates significantly increased bone flap elevation compared with a similar method using linear plates, and it may reduce the risk of neurological deficits related to intracranial electrode placement.