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Richard Leblanc, Donatella Tampieri, Yves Robitaille, André Olivier, Frederick Andermann and Alan Sherwin

✓ The authors describe the association between an anterobasal temporal lobe encephalocele and medically intractable temporal lobe epilepsy in three patients treated successfully by surgery. Two men and one woman, aged 26 to 37 years (mean 31 years), had onset of complex automatism and generalized seizures in their second and fourth decades (mean age 22.7 years). They had been epileptic for 6 to 14 years (mean 8.3 years) before surgery. Preoperative electroencephalograms localized ictal epileptic activity to the left mesial temporal lobe in all cases, and neuropsychological testing revealed dominant temporal lobe dysfunction. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging demonstrated an anteromedial basal temporal encephalocele extending into the pterygopalatine fossa through a bone defect at the base of the greater sphenoid wing in the region of the foramen rotundum and pterygoid process, a discrete center of embryonal chondrification. At surgery, the encephaloceles were found in front of the uncus, and an area of gliosis extended from the encephalocele to the amygdalohippocampal region. All patients have been seizure-free following anterior temporal resection and amygdalohippocampectomy including the encephalocele. These three cases delineate a condition of disordered embryogenesis wherein a developmental anterobasal temporal encephalocele acts as the substrate for temporal lobe epilepsy. This lesion may be diagnosed preoperatively with MR imaging and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of late-onset temporal lobe epilepsy.

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Richard G. Bittar, André Olivier, Abbas F. Sadikot, Frederick Andermann, Roch M. Comeau, Martin Cyr, Terrence M. Peters and David C. Reutens

Object. To investigate the utility of [15O]H2O positron emission tomography (PET) activation studies in the presurgical mapping of primary somatosensory cortex, the authors compared the magnitude and location of activation foci obtained using PET scanning with the results of intraoperative cortical stimulation (ICS).

Methods. The authors used PET scanning and vibrotactile stimulation (of the face, hand, or foot) to localize the primary somatosensory cortex before surgical resection of mass lesions or epileptogenic foci affecting the central area in 20 patients. With the aid of image-guided surgical systems, the locations of significant activation foci on PET scanning were compared with those of positive ICS performed at craniotomy after the patient had received a local anesthetic agent. In addition, the relationship between the magnitude and statistical significance of blood flow changes and the presence of positive ICS was examined.

In 22 (95.6%) of 23 statistically significant (p < 0.05) PET activation foci, spatially concordant sites on ICS were also observed. Intraoperative cortical stimulation was positive in 40% of the PET activation studies that did not result in statistically significant activation. In the patients showing these results, there was a clearly identifiable t-statistic peak that was spatially concordant with the site of positive ICS in the sensorimotor area. All PET activation foci with a t statistic greater than 4.75 were associated with spatially concordant sites of positive ICS. All PET activation foci with a t statistic less than 3.2 were associated with negative ICS.

Conclusions. Positron emission tomography is an accurate method for mapping the primary somatosensory cortex before surgery. The need for ICS, which requires local anesthesia, may be eliminated when PET foci with high (> 4.75) or low (< 3.20) t-statistic peaks are elicited by vibrotactile stimulation.

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Richard G. Bittar, André Olivier, Abbas F. Sadikot, Frederick Andermann, G. Bruce Pike and David C. Reutens

Object. Accurate identification of eloquent cortex is important to ensure that resective surgery in the region surrounding the central sulcus is performed with minimum risk of permanent neurological deficit. Functional localization has traditionally been accomplished using intraoperative cortical stimulation (ICS). However, this technique suffers from several disadvantages that make the development and validation of noninvasive methods desirable. Functional localization accomplished by activation studies in which positron emission tomography (PET) scanning and the tracer [15O]H2O have been used has been shown to correlate well with the results of ICS. Another noninvasive method for functional localization is functional magnetic resonance (fMR) imaging. We compared the locations of activation peaks obtained in individual patients using fMR and [15O]H2O PET imaging.

Methods. Twenty-six combined PET activation—fMR imaging studies were performed in 11 patients who were admitted for evaluation before undergoing surgery in the region surrounding the central sulcus. The PET scans were obtained using bolus injections of the cerebral blood flow tracer [15O]H2O (10 mCi). Multislice T2*-weighted gradient-echo echoplanar images were acquired using a 1.5-tesla MR imaging system. Activation maps were aligned with anatomical MR images and transformed into stereotactic space, after which the locations of activation peaks obtained using both modalities were compared. The average distance between activation peaks obtained using fMR imaging and those obtained using PET imaging was 7.9 ± 4.8 mm (p > 0.05), with 96% of the peaks being located on either the same or adjacent sulci and gyri. Overlapping of voxels activated by each modality occurred in 92% of the studies. Functional MR imaging failed to activate the primary sensorimotor cortex in one study and produced results that were ambiguous in the clinical setting in three cases.

Conclusions. Overall, fMR imaging produced activation that correlated well with that obtained using PET scanning. Discrepancies between the sites of activation identified using these two techniques may reflect differences in their physiological bases.

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Richard G. Bittar, André Olivier, Abbas F. Sadikot, Frederick Andermann and David C. Reutens

Object. Changes in cortical representation in patients with cerebral lesions may alter the correlation between cortical anatomy and function. This is of potential clinical significance when the extent of cortical resection is based on surface anatomical landmarks.

Methods. Fifty-one patients with supratentorial lesions were studied. Nineteen harbored noncentral lesions (no involvement of pre- or postcentral gyrus), whereas 32 had central lesions. Control studies consisted of stimulation of the hand contralateral to the unaffected hemisphere. Positron emission tomography activation studies were performed using the [15O]H2O tracer. Somatosensory stimulation of the hand or foot was performed using a mechanical vibrator. Motor activation consisted of hand clenching or foot tapping. The t-statistic volumes were generated from images showing the mean change in regional cerebral blood flow, and coregistered with a T1-weighted magnetic resonance image. At the threshold selected, exclusive contralateral primary sensorimotor cortex activation was elicited in 100% of the control studies. A different pattern of cortical activation was associated with central lesions in 35 (78%) of 45 patients, which occurred significantly more often than with noncentral lesions (eight [31%] of 26 patients). The most common difference in the pattern of activation with central lesions was activation of cortical regions outside the central area (including the supplementary sensorimotor area and the secondary somatosensory cortex). No sensorimotor activation was observed in gyri adjacent to the pre- or postcentral gyrus.

Conclusions. Central lesions are more frequently associated with altered patterns in activation than lesions in noncentral locations. Characteristic patterns include activation of secondary sensorimotor areas. The absence of activation in gyri adjacent to the sensorimotor strip has clinical significance for the planning of resections in the central area.

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Richard G. Bittar, André Olivier, Abbas F. Sadikot, Frederick Andermann, Roch M. Comeau, Martin Cyr, Terrence M. Peters and David C. Reutens

Object

To investigate the utility of [15O]H2O positron emission tomography (PET) activation studies in the presurgical mapping of primary somatosensory cortex, the authors compared the magnitude and location of activation foci obtained using PET scanning with the results of intraoperative cortical stimulation (ICS).

Methods

The authors used PET scanning and vibrotactile stimulation (of the face, hand, or foot) to localize the primary somatosensory cortex before surgical resection of mass lesions or epileptogenic foci affecting the central area in 20 patients. With the aid of image-guided surgical systems, the locations of significant activation foci on PET scanning were compared with those of positive ICS performed at craniotomy after the patient had received a local anesthetic agent. In addition, the relationship between the magnitude and statistical significance of blood flow changes and the presence of positive ICS was examined.

In 22 (95.6%) of 23 statistically significant (p < 0.05) PET activation foci, spatially concordant sites on ICS were also observed. Intraoperative cortical stimulation was positive in 40% of the PET activation studies that did not result in statistically significant activation. In the patients showing these results, there was a clearly identifiable t-statistic peak that was spatially concordant with the site of positive ICS in the sensorimotor area. All PET activation foci with a t statistic greater than 4.75 were associated with spatially concordant sites of positive ICS. All PET activation foci with a t statistic less than 3.2 were associated with negative ICS.

Conclusions

Positron emission tomography is an accurate method for mapping the primary somatosensory cortex before surgery. The need for ICS, which requires local anesthesia, may be eliminated when PET foci with high (> 4.75) or low (< 3.20) t-statistic peaks are elicited by vibrotactile stimulation.

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Sandeep Mittal, Jean-Pierre Farmer, Bernard Rosenblatt, Frederick Andermann, José L. Montes and Jean-Guy Villemure

✓ Residual seizures after functional hemispherectomy occur in approximately 20% of patients with catastrophic epilepsy. These episodes are traditionally attributed to incomplete disconnection, persistent epileptogenic activity in the ipsilateral insular cortex, or bilateral independent epileptogenic activity. The authors report on the case of an 8-year-old boy with an intractable seizure disorder who had classic frontal adversive seizures related to extensive unilateral left hemispheric cortical dysplasia. The initial intervention consisted of extensive removal of the epileptic frontal and precentral dysplastic tissue and multiple subpial transections of the dysplastic motor strip, guided by intraoperative electrocorticography. Subsequently, functional hemispherectomy including insular cortex resection was performed for persistent attacks. After a seizure-free period of 6 months, a new pattern ensued, consisting of an aura of fear, dystonic posturing of the right arm, and unusual postictal hyperphagia coupled with an interictal diencephalic-like syndrome. Electroencephalography and ictal/interictal single-photon emission computerized tomography were used to localize the residual epileptic discharges to deep ipsilateral structures. Results of magnetic resonance imaging indicated a complete disconnection except for a strip of residual frontobasal tissue. Therefore, a volumetric resection of the epileptogenic frontal basal tissue up to the anterior commissure was completed. The child has remained free of seizures during 21 months of follow-up review.

Standard hemispherectomy methods provide extensive disconnection, despite the presence of residual frontal basal cortex. However, rarely, and especially if it is dysplastic, this tissue can represent a focus for refractory seizures. This is an important consideration in determining the source of ongoing seizures posthemispherectomy in patients with extensive cortical dysplasia. It remains important to assess them fully before considering their disease refractory to surgical treatment.

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Warren Boling, Frederick Andermann, David Reutens, François Dubeau, Laetitia Caporicci and André Olivier

Object. The goal of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of surgery for temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) in older (≥ 50 years of age) patients.

Methods. The authors conducted a review of all patients 50 years of age or older with TLE surgically treated at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital since 1981 by one surgeon (A.O.). Only patients without a mass lesion were included. Outcome parameters were compared with those of younger individuals with TLE, who were stratified by age at operation.

In patients aged 50 years and older, the onset of complex partial seizures occurred 5 to 53 years (mean 35 years) prior to the time of surgery. Postoperatively, over a mean follow-up period of 64 months, 15 patients (83%) obtained a meaningful improvement, becoming either free from seizures or only experiencing a rare seizure. Most surgery outcomes were similar in both older and younger individuals, except for a trend to more freedom from seizures and increased likelihood of returning to work or usual activities in the younger patients. Note that a patient's long-standing seizure disorder did not negatively affect their ability to achieve freedom from seizures following surgery.

Conclusions. Surgery for TLE appears to be effective for older individuals, comparing favorably with results in younger age groups, and carries a small risk of postoperative complications.

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Aviva Abosch, Neda Bernasconi, Warren Boling, Marilyn Jones-Gotman, Nicole Poulin, François Dubeau, Frederick Andermann and André Olivier

Object. Selective amygdalohippocampectomy (SelAH) is used in the treatment of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE). The goal of this study was to determine factors predictive of poor postoperative seizure control (Engel Class III or IV) following SelAH.

Methods. A retrospective study was conducted of 27 patients with poor seizure control postoperatively (Engel III/IV group), in comparison with 27 patients who were free from seizures after surgery (Engel I/II group). The results of electroencephalography, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, and pathological studies were reviewed, and volumetric MR image analysis was used to compare the extent of the mesial structures that had been resected.

In 56% of patients in the Engel III/IV group, significant bitemporal abnormalities were displayed on preoperative EEG studies, compared with 24% of patients in the Engel I/II group (p < 0.05). An analysis of preoperative MR images disclosed five patients (19%) in the Engel III/IV group and no patient in the Engel I/II group with normal hippocampal volumes bilaterally. Thirteen patients in the Engel III/IV group subsequently underwent either extension of the SelAH (six cases) or a corticoamygdalohippocampectomy (seven patients). Three patients from the former and one patient from the latter subgroup subsequently became seizure free (four patients total [34%]). The remaining nine patients did not improve, despite the fact that they had undergone near-total resection of mesial structures.

Conclusions. The majority of patients receiving suboptimal seizure control following SelAH did not meet the criteria for unilateral MTLE, based on EEG, MR imaging, and/or histopathological studies. These patients were therefore unlikely to benefit from additional resection of mesial structures. With the benefits of modern imaging, and by strict adherence to selection criteria, SelAH can be predicted to yield excellent postoperative seizure control for nearly all patients with unilateral MTLE. There remains a subpopulation, however, that meets the criteria for MTLE, but does not become free from seizure following SelAH.

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Sandeep Mittal, José L. Montes, Jean-Pierre Farmer, Bernard Rosenblatt, François Dubeau, Frederick Andermann, Nicole Poulin and André Olivier

Object

Surgery is an accepted treatment for carefully selected patients with focal epilepsy. In the present study, the authors assessed clinical and surgery-related data obtained in a large series of children suffering from intractable temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE).

Methods

Etiological, pathological, and clinical features of possible prognostic significance were studied in 109 children who underwent surgery for TLE at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital and the Montreal Children's Hospital between 1985 and 2000.

The mean age of patients at seizure onset was 5.5 years and the duration of epilepsy ranged from 0.1 to 17.6 years. Preoperative magnetic resonance imaging revealed mesial sclerosis in 51 patients, a mass lesion in 45, and no visible abnormalities in 12. In six patients invasive monitoring was required. Cortical amygdalohippocampectomy was performed in 72% of patients, whereas 20% underwent transcortical selective amygdalohippocampectomy. In 23 patients a second surgical intervention was necessary. Low-grade tumors were found in 35% and mesial sclerosis was confirmed on pathological evaluation in 45%. Outcome was excellent (seizure free or > 90% reduction) in 94 patients (86%). The patients were followed prospectively for a median of 10.9 years (range 5–20.2 years). There were no permanent neurological complications and no deaths.

Conclusions

Successful postsurgical outcomes, especially in patients treated for mesial temporal lobe sclerosis and lesion-related epilepsies, can be obtained in pediatric patients suffering minimal complications. Unfavorable outcomes are most likely to occur when epileptiform discharges are bitemporal or multifocal in distribution and in cases involving incomplete resection of mesiotemporal structures.

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Antonio Nogueira de Almeida, André Olivier, Felipe Quesney, François Dubeau, Ghislaine Savard and Frederick Andermann

Object

The purpose of this paper was to define the general efficacy of and morbidity associated with stereoelectroencephalography using modern methods of imaging and to particularize the risks related to specific lobes of the brain.

Methods

All patients admitted to the Montreal Neurological Institute who had undergone either computerized tomography – or magnetic resonance imaging–guided electrode implantation by one surgeon (A.O.) were reviewed. The procedure was considered efficient if the obtained information was sufficient to make a decision either in support of or against surgery.

Two hundred seventeen patients underwent 224 implantations with 3022 electrodes. Complications related to each lobe were as follows: temporal lobe, two abscesses (0.54%); frontal lobe, one abscess and three hematomas (1.4%); and occipital lobe, one hypointense lesion found 1 week after electrode explantation (2.6%). Significant risk factors associated with hematomas were implantation in the frontal lobe (p < 0.05) and the use of four or more implanted electrodes (p < 0.025).

General complications included the following: 26 patients, psychiatric symptoms during monitoring; one patient, meningitis; four patients, scalp cellulitis; and two patients, hemiparesis during angiography in the early 1980s. One of these latter patients maintained a mild hemiparesis and represents the only case of permanent neurological sequela in the entire series. Data obtained during recordings supported an indication for surgery in 178 patients (79.5%), excluded a surgical option in 37 patients (16.5%), and were unsatisfactory in nine patients (4%). Thus, the overall efficacy as defined previously was 96%.

Conclusions

Stereoelectroencephalography is an efficient procedure with low associated morbidity. Bilateral exploration of the temporal lobes has a morbidity rate of approximately 1%. A higher risk of hematomas occurs with the implantation of four or more electrodes in the frontal lobes.