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Isabelle M. Germano, Nicole Poulin and André Olivier

✓ The indications for and the risks and outcome of reoperation for medically refractory temporal lobe epilepsy have not been well documented. A retrospective review is presented of 40 patients who underwent reoperation on the temporal lobe for recurrent seizures. The mean patient age at the first operation was 22 ± 7 years (± standard deviation). Electrocorticography during the first operation showed interictal epileptic abnormalities from surface electrodes in 97% of the cases and from depth electrodes in the mesiotemporal structures in 38%. The seizures recurred with the same pattern within 6 months after the first operation in 60% of patients and within 2 years in 90%. Postoperative neuroimaging studies showed residual mesiotemporal structures in all cases. The mean time between the two operations was 5.5 ± 5 years and the mean patient age at the second operation was 28 ± 8 years. The second operation involved focal resection of the mesiotemporal structures in 30 cases. The mean postoperative follow-up period was 4.8 ± 2.7 years (range 2 to 11 years). After the second operation, 63% of the patients were seizure-free or had rare seizures (one or two per year). There were no permanent neurological complications. Patients who did not benefit from reoperation had electroencephalographic abnormalities in multiple brain areas.

Reoperation for temporal lobe epilepsy effectively controls seizures in the majority of patients, and the procedure is safe if rigorous technical rules are observed. More complete resection of mesiotemporal structures during the first operation, even in the absence of intraoperative electrographic abnormalities, could prevent the need for reoperation in defined cases.

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Taner Tanriverdi, Abdulrazag Ajlan, Nicole Poulin and Andre Olivier

Object

In this paper the authors aimed to provide information related to major and minor surgical and neurological complications encountered following stereoelectroencephalography and epilepsy surgery.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective review of 491 and 1905 patients who underwent intracranial electrode implantation and epilepsy surgery, respectively, between 1976 and 2006 at the Montreal Neurological Institute. All intracranial electrode implantations and surgical procedures were performed by 1 surgeon (A.O.).

Results

A total of 6415 electrode implantations and 2449 surgical procedures were done. There were no deaths related to either procedure. There were no major complications after intracranial electrode implantation, and the risks of infection and intracranial hematoma were found to be 1.8 and 0.8%, respectively. The number of electrodes per lobe (p = 0.05) and number of lobes covered (p = 0.04) were significant risk factors for hematoma and infection. Regarding epilepsy surgery, there were no major surgical complications, and the overall minor complication rate was 2.9%. Infection was the most common complication (1.0%), followed by intracranial hematoma (0.7%). Significant risk factors associated with hematomas and infections were the number of reoperations (p = 0.001) and older patient age (p = 0.03). Minor and major neurological complication rates were 2.7 and 0.5%, respectively, and the rate of overall neurological morbidity was 3.3%. Hemiparesis was the most frequent neurological complication (1.5%).

Conclusions

Based on the authors' experience, intracranial electrode implantation is an effective method with an extremely low morbidity rate. Moreover, epilepsy surgery is safe, especially in experienced hands.

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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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Taner Tanriverdi, Andre Olivier, Nicole Poulin, Frederick Andermann and François Dubeau

Object

Resection strategies for the treatment of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) are a matter of discussion, and little information is available. The aim of this study was to compare seizure outcomes at the 5-year follow-up in patients with medically refractory unilateral mesial TLE (MTLE) due to hippocampal sclerosis (HS) who were treated using a cortical amygdalohippocampectomy (CorAH) or a selective AH (SelAH).

Methods

The authors obtained data from 100 adult patients who underwent surgery for MTLE. Fifty patients underwent a CorAH and 50 underwent an SelAH. Seizure control achieved with each technique was compared using the Engel classification scheme.

Results

Overall, at the 5-year follow-up, favorable (Engel Classes I and II) seizure outcomes were noted in 82 and 90% of patients who had undergone CorAH and SelAH, respectively. Furthermore, 40% of the patients who had undergone a CorAH and 58% of those who had undergone an SelAH were seizure free (Engel Class Ia). There was no statistically significant difference between the 2 surgical approaches in terms of seizure outcome at the 5-year follow-up (p = 0.38).

Conclusions

Both CorAH and SelAH can lead to similar favorable seizure control in patients with MTLE/HS. However, the authors suggest that the transcortical selective approach has the great advantage of minimizing or completely abolishing the impact of dividing several venous and arterial adhesions which are tedious, time consuming, and, at times, associated with some degree of cerebral swelling.

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Taner Tanriverdi, André Olivier, Nicole Poulin, Frederick Andermann and François Dubeau

Object

The authors report long-term follow-up seizure outcome in patients who underwent corpus callosotomy during the period 1981–2001 at the Montreal Neurological Institute.

Methods

The records of 95 patients with a minimum follow-up of 5 years (mean 17.2 years) were retrospectively evaluated with respect to seizure, medication outcomes, and prognostic factors on seizure outcome.

Results

All patients had more than one type of seizure, most frequently drop attacks and generalized tonicclonic seizures. The most disabling seizure type was drop attacks, followed by generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Improvement was noted in several seizure types and was most likely for generalized tonic-clonic seizures (77.3%) and drop attacks (77.2%). Simple partial, generalized tonic, and myoclonic seizures also benefited from anterior callosotomy. The extent of the callosal section was correlated with favorable seizure outcome. The complications were mild and transient and no death was seen.

Conclusions

This study confirms that anterior callosotomy is an effective treatment in intractable generalized seizures that are not amenable to focal resection. When considering this procedure, the treating physician must thoroughly assess the expected benefits, limitations, likelihood of residual seizures, and the risks, and explain them to the patient, his or her family, and other caregivers.

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Taner Tanriverdi, Roy William Roland Dudley, Alya Hasan, Ahmed Al Jishi, Qasim Al Hinai, Nicole Poulin, M.Ed., Sophie Colnat-Coulbois and André Olivier

Object

The aim of this study was to compare IQ and memory outcomes at the 1-year follow-up in patients with medically refractory mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) due to hippocampal sclerosis. All patients were treated using a corticoamygdalohippocampectomy (CAH) or a selective amygdalohippocampectomy (SelAH).

Methods

The data of 256 patients who underwent surgery for MTLE were retrospectively evaluated. One hundred twenty-three patients underwent a CAH (63 [right side] and 60 [left side]), and 133 underwent an SelAH (61 [right side] and 72 [left side]). A comprehensive neuropsychological test battery was assessed before and 1 year after surgery, and the results were compared between the surgical procedures. Furthermore, seizure outcome was compared using the Engel classification scheme.

Results

At 1-year follow-up, there was no statistically significant difference between the surgical approaches with respect to seizure outcome. Overall, IQ scores showed improvement, but verbal IQ decreased after left SelAH. Verbal memory impairment was seen after left-sided resections especially in cases of SelAH, and nonverbal memory decreased after right-sided resection, especially for CAH. Left-sided resections produced some improvement in nonverbal memory. Older age at surgery, longer duration of seizures, greater seizure frequency before surgery, and poor seizure control after surgery were associated with poorer memory.

Conclusions

Both CAH and SelAH can lead to several cognitive impairments depending on the side of the surgery. The authors suggest that the optimal type of surgical approach should be decided on a case-by-case basis.

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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.