Anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) and selective amygdalohippocampectomy (SelAH) are the preferred surgical approaches for the treatment of medically refractory epilepsy involving the nondominant and dominant temporal lobes, respectively. Both techniques provide access to mesial structures—with the ATL providing a wider surgical corridor than SelAH. Because the extent of mesial temporal resection potentially impacts seizure outcome, the authors examined mesial resection volumes, seizure outcomes, and neuropsychiatric test scores in patients undergoing either ATL or transcortical SelAH at a single institution.
A retrospective study was conducted in 96 patients with medically refractory mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. Fifty-one patients who had nondominant temporal lobe epilepsy underwent standard ATL, and 45 patients with language-dominant temporal lobe epilepsy underwent transcortical SelAH. Volumetric MRI analysis was used to quantify the mesial resection in both groups. In addition, the authors examined seizure outcomes and the change in neuropsychiatric test scores.
Seizure-free outcome in the entire patient cohort was 94% at a mean follow-up of 44 months. There was no significant difference in the seizure outcome between the 2 groups. The extent of resection of the mesial structures following ATL was slightly higher than for SelAH (98% vs 91%, p < 0.0001). The change in neuropsychiatric test scores largely reflected the side of surgery, but overall IQ and memory function did not change significantly in either group.
Transcortical SelAH provides adequate access to the mesial structures, and allows for a resection that is nearly as extensive as that achieved with standard ATL. Seizure outcomes and neuropsychiatric sequelae are similar in both procedures.