The semiology of cingulate gyrus epilepsy is varied and may involve the paracentral area, the adjacent limbic system, and/or the orbitofrontal gyrus. Invasive electroencephalography (iEEG) recording is usually required for patients with deeply located epileptogenic foci. This paper reports on the authors’ experiences in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of patients with focal epilepsy originating in the cingulate gyrus.
Eighteen patients (median age 24 years, range 5–53 years) with a mean seizure history of 23 years (range 2–32 years) were analyzed retrospectively. The results of presurgical evaluation, surgical strategy, and postoperative pathology are reported, as well as follow-up concerning functional morbidity and seizures (median follow-up 7 years, range 2–12 years).
Patients with cingulate gyrus epilepsy presented with a variety of semiologies and scalp EEG patterns. Prior to ictal onset, 11 (61%) of the patients presented with aura. Initial ictal symptoms included limb posturing in 12 (67%), vocalization in 5, and hypermotor movement in 4. In most patients (n = 16, 89%), ictal EEG presented as widespread patterns with bilateral hemispheric origin, as well as muscle artifacts obscuring the onset of EEG during the ictal period in 11 patients. Among the 18 patients who underwent resection, the pathology revealed mild malformation of cortical development in 2, focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) Ib in 4, FCD IIa in 4, FCD IIb in 4, astrocytoma in 1, ganglioglioma in 1, and gliosis in 2. The seizure outcome after surgery was satisfactory: Engel class IA in 12 patients, IIB in 3, IIIA in 1, IIIB in 1, and IVB in 1 at the 2-year follow-up.
In this study, the authors exploited the improved access to the cingulate epileptogenic network made possible by the use of 3D electrodes implanted using stereoelectroencephalography methodology. Under iEEG recording and intraoperative neuromonitoring, epilepsy surgery on lesions in the cingulate gyrus can result in good outcomes in terms of seizure recurrence and the incidence of postoperative permanent deficits.