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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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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


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.


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.


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.


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.

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Oral Presentations

2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010