Intractable seizures can have a devastating effect on the development of a child. In children with intractable epilepsy that is refractory to medication, surgical treatment may be needed. Magnetic resonance imaging is an essential neuroimaging tool to assist in the identification of an epileptogenic substrate. The interpretation of MR images should be done in the context of clinical knowledge of the seizure symptomatology and electroencephalographic findings. Quantitative processing of structural MR data and advanced MR imaging such as diffusion tensor imaging and MR spectroscopy have the potential to identify subtle lesions that may otherwise have been missed. In addition to lesion localization, identification of eloquent cortex and white matter tracts are also an essential component of epilepsy surgery workup. Functional MR imaging maps the sensorimotor cortex and also lateralizes language. Diffusion tensor imaging tractography can be used to map the corticospinal tracts and the optic radiations. In addition to MR imaging, magnetoencephalography and nuclear medicine studies such as PET and SPECT scanning may be used to lateralize seizure focus when clinical, electrophysiological, and structural MR imaging findings are discordant.
Elysa Widjaja and Charles Raybaud
Abhaya V. Kulkarni, Ruth Donnelly, Donald J. Mabbott, and Elysa Widjaja
Larger-than-normal ventricles can persist in children following hydrocephalus treatment, even if they are asymptomatic and clinically well. This study aims to answer the following question: do large ventricles result in brain injuries that are detectable on diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and/or in measurable neurocognitive deficits in children with stable, treated hydrocephalus that are not seen in children with small ventricles?
For this prospective study, we recruited 23 children (age range 8–18 years) with hydrocephalus due to aqueductal stenosis or tectal glioma who were asymptomatic following hydrocephalus treatment that had been performed at least 2 years earlier. All patients underwent detailed DTI and a full battery of neuropsychological tests. Correlation analysis was performed to assess the relationship between DTI parameters, neurocognitive tests, and ventricular size. The false-discovery rate method was used to adjust for multiple comparisons.
The median age of these 23 children at the time of assessment was 15.0 years (interquartile range [IQR] 12.1–17.6 years), and the median age at the first hydrocephalus treatment was 5.8 years (IQR 2.2 months–12.8 years). At the time of assessment, 17 children had undergone endoscopic third ventriculostomy and 6 children had received a shunt. After adjusting for multiple comparisons, there were no significant correlations between any neurocognitive test and ventricular volume, any DTI parameter and ventricular volume, or any DTI parameter and neurocognitive test.
Our data do not show an association between large ventricular size and additional white matter injury or worse neurocognitive deficits in asymptomatic children with stable, treated hydrocephalus caused by a discrete blockage of the cerebral aqueduct. Further investigations using larger patient samples are needed to validate these results.
Osama Muthaffar, Klajdi Puka, Luc Rubinger, Cristina Go, O. Carter Snead III, James T. Rutka, and Elysa Widjaja
Although epilepsy surgery is an effective treatment option, at least 20%–40% of patients can continue to experience uncontrolled seizures resulting from incomplete resection of the lesion, epileptogenic zone, or secondary epileptogenesis. Reoperation could eliminate or improve seizures. Authors of this study evaluated outcomes following reoperation in a pediatric population.
A retrospective single-center analysis of all patients who had undergone resective epilepsy surgery in the period from 2001 to 2013 was performed. After excluding children who had repeat hemispherotomy, there were 24 children who had undergone a second surgery and 2 children who had undergone a third surgery. All patients underwent MRI and video electroencephalography (VEEG) and 21 underwent magnetoencephalography (MEG) prior to reoperation.
The mean age at the first and second surgery was 7.66 (SD 4.11) and 10.67 (SD 4.02) years, respectively. The time between operations ranged from 0.03 to 9 years. At reoperation, 8 patients underwent extended cortical resection; 8, lobectomy; 5, lesionectomy; and 3, functional hemispherotomy. One year after reoperation, 58% of the children were completely seizure free (International League Against Epilepsy [ILAE] Class 1) and 75% had a reduction in seizures (ILAE Classes 1–4). Patients with MEG clustered dipoles were more likely to be seizure free than to have persistent seizures (71% vs 40%, p = 0.08).
Reoperation in children with recurrent seizures after the first epilepsy surgery could result in favorable seizure outcomes. Those with residual lesion after the first surgery should undergo complete resection of the lesion to improve seizure outcome. In addition to MRI and VEEG, MEG should be considered as part of the reevaluation prior to reoperation.
Won Seok Chang, Midori Nakajima, Ayako Ochi, Elysa Widjaja, James T. Rutka, Ivanna Yau, Shiro Baba, and Hiroshi Otsubo
Advanced dynamic statistical parametric mapping (AdSPM) with magnetoencephalography (MEG) was used to identify MRI-negative epileptogenic lesions in this report. A 15-year-old girl had MRI-negative and pharmacology-resistant focal-onset epilepsy. She experienced two types of seizures. Type I consisted of her arousal from sleep, staring, and a forced head-turning movement to the left, followed by secondary generalization. Type II began with an aura of dizziness followed by staring and postictal headache with fatigue. Scalp video-electroencephalography (EEG) captured two type I seizures originating from the right frontocentral region. MEG showed scattered dipoles over the right frontal region. AdSPM identified the spike source at the bottom of the right inferior frontal sulcus. Intracranial video-EEG captured one type I seizure, which originated from the depth electrode at the bottom of the sulcus and correlated with the AdSPM spike source. Accordingly, the patient underwent resection of the middle and inferior frontal gyri, including the AdSPM-identified spike source. Histopathological examination revealed that the patient had focal cortical dysplasia type IIB. To date, the patient has been seizure free for 2 years while receiving topiramate treatment. This is the first preliminary report to identify MRI-negative epilepsy using AdSPM. Further investigation of AdSPM would be valuable for cases of MRI-negative focal epilepsy.
Erin N. Kiehna, Elysa Widjaja, Stephanie Holowka, O. Carter Snead III, James Drake, Shelly K. Weiss, Ayako Ochi, Eric M. Thompson, Cristina Go, Hiroshi Otsubo, Elizabeth J. Donner, and James T. Rutka
Hemispherectomy for unilateral, medically refractory epilepsy is associated with excellent long-term seizure control. However, for patients with recurrent seizures following disconnection, workup and investigation can be challenging, and surgical options may be limited. Few studies have examined the role of repeat hemispherotomy in these patients. The authors hypothesized that residual fiber connections between the hemispheres could be the underlying cause of recurrent epilepsy in these patients. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was used to test this hypothesis, and to target residual connections at reoperation using neuronavigation.
The authors identified 8 patients with recurrent seizures following hemispherectomy who underwent surgery between 1995 and 2012. Prolonged video electroencephalography recordings documented persistent seizures arising from the affected hemisphere. In all patients, DTI demonstrated residual white matter association fibers connecting the hemispheres. A repeat craniotomy and neuronavigation-guided targeted disconnection of these residual fibers was performed. Engel class was used to determine outcome after surgery at a minimum of 2 years of follow-up.
Two patients underwent initial hemidecortication and 6 had periinsular hemispherotomy as their first procedures at a median age of 9.7 months. Initial pathologies included hemimegalencephaly (n = 4), multilobar cortical dysplasia (n = 3), and Rasmussen's encephalitis (n = 1). The mean duration of seizure freedom for the group after the initial procedure was 32.5 months (range 6–77 months). In all patients, DTI showed limited but definite residual connections between the 2 hemispheres, primarily across the rostrum/genu of the corpus callosum. The median age at reoperation was 6.8 years (range 1.3–14 years). The average time taken for reoperation was 3 hours (range 1.8–4.3 hours), with a mean blood loss of 150 ml (range 50–250 ml). One patient required a blood transfusion. Five patients are seizure free, and the remaining 3 patients are Engel Class II, with a minimum follow-up of 24 months for the group.
Repeat hemispherotomy is an option for consideration in patients with recurrent intractable epilepsy following failed surgery for catastrophic epilepsy. In conjunction with other modalities to establish seizure onset zones, advanced MRI and DTI sequences may be of value in identifying patients with residual connectivity between the affected and unaffected hemispheres. Targeted disconnection of these residual areas of connectivity using neuronavigation may result in improved seizure outcomes, with minimal and acceptable morbidity.
Shobhan Vachhrajani, Sandrine de Ribaupierre, Hiroshi Otsubo, Ayako Ochi, Shelly K. Weiss, Elizabeth J. Donner, Elysa Widjaja, Elizabeth Kerr, Mary Lou Smith, James Drake, O. Carter Snead III, and James T. Rutka
Pediatric frontal lobe epilepsy (FLE) remains a challenging condition for neurosurgeons and epileptologists to manage. Postoperative seizure outcomes remain far inferior to those observed in temporal lobe epilepsies, possibly due to inherent difficulties in delineating and subsequently completely resecting responsible epileptogenic regions. In this study, the authors review their institutional experience with the surgical management of FLE and attempt to find predictors that may help to improve seizure outcome in this population.
All surgically treated cases of intractable FLE from 1990 to 2008 were reviewed. Demographic information, preoperative and intraoperative imaging and electrophysiological investigations, and follow-up seizure outcome were assessed. Inferential statistics were performed to look for potential predictors of seizure outcome.
Forty patients (20 male, 20 female) underwent surgical management of FLE during the study period. Patients were an average of 5.6 years old at the time of FLE onset and 11.7 years at the time of surgery; patients were followed for a mean of 40.25 months. Most patients displayed typical FLE semiology. Twenty-eight patients had discrete lesions identified on MRI. Eight patients underwent 2 operations. Cortical dysplasia was the most common pathological diagnosis. Engel Class I outcome was obtained in 25 patients (62.5%), while Engel Class II outcome was observed in 5 patients (12.5%). No statistically significant predictors of outcome were found.
Control of FLE remains a challenging problem. Favorable seizure outcome, obtained in 62% of patients in this series, is still not as easily obtained in FLE as it is in temporal lobe epilepsy. While no statistically significant predictors of seizure outcome were revealed in this study, patients with FLE continue to require extensive workup and investigation to arrive at a logical and comprehensive neurosurgical treatment plan. Future studies with improved neuroimaging and advanced invasive monitoring strategies may well help define factors for success in this form of epilepsy that is difficult to control.
Michael J. Ellis, James T. Rutka, Abhaya V. Kulkarni, Peter B. Dirks, and Elysa Widjaja
Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) can lead to distortion or reorganization of functional brain anatomy, making localization of eloquent white matter tracts challenging. To improve the accuracy of corticospinal tract (CST) mapping, recent studies have examined the use of functional imaging techniques to help localize cortical motor activations and use these as seed points to reconstruct CSTs using diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI). The authors examined the role of pretreatment functionally guided DTI CST mapping in 3 children with ruptured AVMs. In 2 patients, magnetoencephalography motor activations were adjacent to the nidus and/or hemorrhagic cavity. However, in 1 child, functional MRI motor activations were detected in both hemispheres, suggestive of partial transfer of cortical motor function. In all children, quantitative analysis showed that fractional anisotropy values and fiber density indices were reduced in the CSTs of the hemisphere harboring the AVM compared with the unaffected side. In 2 children, CST caliber was slightly diminished, corresponding to no motor deficit in 1 patient and a temporary motor deficit in the other. In contrast, 1 child demonstrated marked reduction and displacement of the CSTs, correlating with severe motor deficit. Preoperative motor tractography data were loaded onto the intraoperative neuronavigation platform to guide complete resection of the AVM in 2 cases without permanent neurological deficits. These preliminary results confirm the feasibility of CST mapping in children with ruptured AVMs using functionally guided DTI tractography. Prospective studies are needed to assess the full value of this technique in the risk stratification, prognosis, and multimodality management of pediatric AVMs.
Eisha A. Christian, Elysa Widjaja, Ayako Ochi, Hiroshi Otsubo, Stephanie Holowka, Elizabeth Donner, Shelly K. Weiss, Cristina Go, James Drake, O. Carter Snead, and James T. Rutka
Small lesions at the depth of the sulcus, such as with bottom-of-sulcus focal cortical dysplasia, are not visible from the surface of the brain and can therefore be technically challenging to resect. In this technical note, the authors describe their method of using depth electrodes as landmarks for the subsequent resection of these exacting lesions.
A retrospective review was performed on pediatric patients who had undergone invasive electroencephalography with depth electrodes that were subsequently used as guides for resection in the period between July 2015 and June 2017.
Ten patients (3–15 years old) met the criteria for this study. At the same time as invasive subdural grid and/or strip insertion, between 2 and 4 depth electrodes were placed using a hand-held frameless neuronavigation technique. Of the total 28 depth electrodes inserted, all were found within the targeted locations on postoperative imaging. There was 1 patient in whom an asymptomatic subarachnoid hemorrhage was demonstrated on postprocedural imaging. Depth electrodes aided in target identification in all 10 cases.
Depth electrodes placed at the time of invasive intracranial electrode implantation can be used to help localize, target, and resect primary zones of epileptogenesis caused by bottom-of-sulcus lesions.
Ailish Coblentz, Gavin J. B. Elias, Alexandre Boutet, Jurgen Germann, Musleh Algarni, Lais M. Oliveira, Clemens Neudorfer, Elysa Widjaja, George M. Ibrahim, Suneil K. Kalia, Mehr Jain, Andres M. Lozano, and Alfonso Fasano
The objective of this study was to report the authors’ experience with deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the internal globus pallidus (GPi) as a treatment for pediatric dystonia, and to elucidate substrates underlying clinical outcome using state-of-the-art neuroimaging techniques.
A retrospective analysis was conducted in 11 pediatric patients (6 girls and 5 boys, mean age 12 ± 4 years) with medically refractory dystonia who underwent GPi-DBS implantation between June 2009 and September 2017. Using pre- and postoperative MRI, volumes of tissue activated were modeled and weighted by clinical outcome to identify brain regions associated with clinical outcome. Functional and structural networks associated with clinical benefits were also determined using large-scale normative data sets.
A total of 21 implanted leads were analyzed in 11 patients. The average follow-up duration was 19 ± 20 months (median 5 months). Using a 7-point clinical rating scale, 10 patients showed response to treatment, as defined by scores < 3. The mean improvement in the Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale motor score was 40% ± 23%. The probabilistic map of efficacy showed that the voxel cluster most associated with clinical improvement was located at the posterior aspect of the GPi, comparatively posterior and superior to the coordinates of the classic GPi target. Strong functional and structural connectivity was evident between the probabilistic map and areas such as the precentral and postcentral gyri, parietooccipital cortex, and brainstem.
This study reported on a series of pediatric patients with dystonia in whom GPi-DBS resulted in variable clinical benefit and described a clinically favorable stimulation site for this cohort, as well as its structural and functional connectivity. This information could be valuable for improving surgical planning, simplifying programming, and further informing disease pathophysiology.
Odeya Bennett-Back, Ayako Ochi, Elysa Widjaja, Shohei Nambu, Akio Kamiya, Cristina Go, Sylvester Chuang, James T. Rutka, James Drake, O. Carter Snead III, and Hiroshi Otsubo
Porencephalic cyst/encephalomalacia (PC/E) is a brain lesion caused by ischemic insult or hemorrhage. The authors evaluated magnetoencephalography (MEG) spike sources (MEGSS) to localize the epileptogenic zone in children with intractable epilepsy secondary to PC/E.
The authors retrospectively studied 13 children with intractable epilepsy secondary to PC/E (5 girls and 8 boys, age range 1.8–15 years), who underwent prolonged scalp video-electroencephalography (EEG), MRI, and MEG. Interictal MEGSS locations were compared with the ictal and interictal zones as determined from scalp video-EEG.
Magnetic resonance imaging showed PC/E in extratemporal lobes in 3 patients, within the temporal lobe in 2 patients, and in both temporal and extratemporal lobes in 8 patients. Magnetoencephalographic spike sources were asymmetrically clustered at the margin of PC/E in all 13 patients. One cluster of MEGSS was observed in 11 patients, 2 clusters in 1 patient, and 3 clusters in 1 patient. Ictal EEG discharges were lateralized and concordant with MEGSS in 8 patients (62%). Interictal EEG discharges were lateralized and concordant with MEGSS hemisphere in 9 patients (69%). Seven patients underwent lesionectomy in addition to MEGSS clusterectomy with (2 patients) and without (5 patients) intracranial video-EEG. Temporal lobectomy was performed in 1 patient and hemispherectomy in another. Eight of 9 patients achieved seizure freedom following surgery.
Magnetoencephalography delineated the extent of the epileptogenic zone adjacent to PC/E in patients with intractable epilepsy. Complete resection of the MEGSS cluster along with PC/E can provide favorable seizure outcomes.