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Naoki Ikegaya, Akio Takahashi, Takanobu Kaido, Yuu Kaneko, Masaki Iwasaki, Nobutaka Kawahara and Taisuke Otsuki

Surgical treatment of the insula is notorious for its high probability of motor complications, particularly when resecting the superoposterior part. Ischemic damage to the pyramidal tract in the corona radiata has been regarded as the cause of these complications, resulting from occlusion of the perforating arteries to the pyramidal tract through the insular cortex. The authors describe a strategy in which a small piece of gray matter is spared at the bottom of the periinsular sulcus, where the perforating arteries pass en route to the pyramidal tract, in order to avoid these complications. This method was successfully applied in 3 patients harboring focal cortical dysplasia in the posterior insula and frontoparietal operculum surrounding the periinsular sulcus. None of the patients developed permanent postoperative motor deficits, and seizure control was achieved in all 3 cases. The method described in this paper can be adopted for functional preservation of the pyramidal tract in the corona radiata when resecting epileptogenic pathologies involving insular and opercular regions.

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Yutaro Takayama, Naoki Ikegaya, Keiya Iijima, Yuiko Kimura, Norihiro Muraoka, Yuu Kaneko, Tetsuya Yamamoto and Masaki Iwasaki

OBJECTIVE

Intractable epilepsy patients with ulegyria could be candidates for resective surgery. Complete resection of ulegyria in the epileptogenic hemisphere is associated with favorable seizure outcome, although the risk of postoperative functional deficits is higher. The authors evaluated the extent of resection and postsurgical outcomes in epilepsy patients with ulegyria who underwent intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) monitoring prior to resection to clarify the efficacy of iEEG-guided partial resection of ulegyria.

METHODS

Ten consecutive epilepsy patients with ulegyria (7 males and 3 females, age range at surgery 7–34 years) underwent iEEG prior to resective surgery between 2011 and 2017 with a minimum follow-up of 12 months (range 12–72 months). The diagnosis of ulegyria was based on the typical pattern of cortical atrophy especially at the bottom of the sulcus on MRI. An iEEG study was indicated after comprehensive preoperative evaluations, including high-field MRI, long-term video-EEG, magnetoencephalography, and FDG-PET. The resection planning was based on iEEG analysis. Total lesionectomy was not always performed, as preservation of cortical function was prioritized.

RESULTS

Ulegyria was seen in the occipital and/or parietal lobe in 9 patients and bilaterally in 5 patients. Ictal EEG onset involved the temporal neocortex in 6 patients. Intracranial electrodes were implanted unilaterally in all except 1 patient with bilateral lesions. The extent of MRI lesion was covered by the electrodes. Seizure onset zones (SOZs) and irritative zones (IZs) were identified in all patients. SOZs and IZs were completely resected in 8 patients but were only partially removed in the remaining 2 patients because the eloquent cortices and the epileptogenic zones overlapped. Ulegyria of the epileptogenic side was totally resected in 1 patient. Seizure freedom was achieved in 4 patients, including 3 after partial lesionectomy. Extended resection of the temporal neocortex was performed in 4 patients, although postoperative seizure freedom was achieved only in 1 of these patients. Visual field deficit was seen in 4 patients. Three of 5 patients with bilateral lesions achieved seizure freedom after unilateral resective surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Intracranial EEG–guided partial lesionectomy provides a reasonable chance of postoperative seizure freedom with a lower risk of functional deficits. Patients with bilateral ulegyria should not be excluded from consideration as surgical candidates.

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Naoki Ikegaya, Masaki Iwasaki, Yuu Kaneko, Takanobu Kaido, Yuiko Kimura, Tetsuya Yamamoto, Noriko Sumitomo, Takashi Saito, Eiji Nakagawa, Kenji Sugai, Masayuki Sasaki, Akio Takahashi and Taisuke Otsuki

OBJECTIVE

Cognitive risk associated with insular cortex resection is not well understood. The authors reviewed cognitive and developmental outcomes in pediatric patients who underwent resection of the epileptogenic zone involving the insula.

METHODS

A review was conducted of 15 patients who underwent resective epilepsy surgery involving the insular cortex for focal cortical dysplasia, with a minimum follow-up of 12 months. The median age at surgery was 5.6 years (range 0.3–13.6 years). Developmental/intelligence quotient (DQ/IQ) scores were evaluated before surgery, within 4 months after surgery, and at 12 months or more after surgery. Repeated measures multivariate ANOVA was used to evaluate the effects on outcomes of the within-subject factor (time) and between-subject factors (resection side, anterior insular resection, seizure control, and antiepileptic drug [AED] reduction).

RESULTS

The mean preoperative DQ/IQ score was 60.7 ± 22.8. Left-side resection and anterior insular resection were performed in 9 patients each. Favorable seizure control (International League Against Epilepsy class 1–3) was achieved in 8 patients. Postoperative motor deficits were observed in 9 patients (permanent in 6, transient in 3). Within-subject changes in DQ/IQ were not significantly affected by insular resection (p = 0.13). Postoperative changes in DQ/IQ were not significantly affected by surgical side, anterior insular resection, AED reduction, or seizure outcome. Only verbal function showed no significant changes before and after surgery and no significant effects of within-subject factors.

CONCLUSIONS

Resection involving the insula in children with impaired development or intelligence can be performed without significant reduction in DQ/IQ, but carries the risk of postoperative motor deficits.