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Cristina Go and O. Carter Snead III

It is important to correctly diagnose medically intractable epilepsy in children and to identify those children whose medically refractory, localization-related seizures may be surgically remediable as soon as possible to optimize the surgical outcome. In this paper the authors review the definition of medically intractable seizures and discuss the various causes and risk factors for this disorder in children. They also outline the presurgical diagnostic evaluation process for pharmacologically intractable epilepsy in children who may be candidates for surgical treatment of localization-related seizures. The treatment of children with medically intractable epilepsy is both challenging and rewarding. Surgery has the potential of altering the natural history of epilepsy by improving or eliminating seizures in carefully selected patients.

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Hiroshi Otsubo, Atsushi Shirasawa, Shiro Chitoku, James T. Rutka, Scott B. Wilson and O. Carter Snead III

✓ The purpose of this paper is to describe the use of computerized brain-surface voltage topographic mapping to localize and identify epileptic discharges recorded on electrocorticographic (ECoG) studies in which a subdural grid was used during intracranial video electroencephalographic (IVEEG) monitoring. The authors studied 12 children who underwent surgery for intractable extrahippocampal epilepsy. Cortical surfaces and subdural grid electrodes were photographed during the initial surgery to create an electrode map that could be superimposed onto a picture of the brain surface. Spikes were selected from ictal discharges recorded at the beginning of clinically confirmed seizures and from interictal discharges seen on ECoG studies during IVEEG recording. A computer program was used to calculate the sequential amplitude of the spikes by using squared interpolation, and they were then superimposed onto the electrode map. Interictal discharges and high-amplitude spike complexes at seizure onset were plotted on the map. This mapping procedure depicted the ictal zone in nine patients and the interictal zone in 12, and proved to be an accurate and useful source of information for planning corrective surgery.

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Osama Muthaffar, Klajdi Puka, Luc Rubinger, Cristina Go, O. Carter Snead III, James T. Rutka and Elysa Widjaja

OBJECTIVE

Although epilepsy surgery is an effective treatment option, at least 20%–40% of patients can continue to experience uncontrolled seizures resulting from incomplete resection of the lesion, epileptogenic zone, or secondary epileptogenesis. Reoperation could eliminate or improve seizures. Authors of this study evaluated outcomes following reoperation in a pediatric population.

METHODS

A retrospective single-center analysis of all patients who had undergone resective epilepsy surgery in the period from 2001 to 2013 was performed. After excluding children who had repeat hemispherotomy, there were 24 children who had undergone a second surgery and 2 children who had undergone a third surgery. All patients underwent MRI and video electroencephalography (VEEG) and 21 underwent magnetoencephalography (MEG) prior to reoperation.

RESULTS

The mean age at the first and second surgery was 7.66 (SD 4.11) and 10.67 (SD 4.02) years, respectively. The time between operations ranged from 0.03 to 9 years. At reoperation, 8 patients underwent extended cortical resection; 8, lobectomy; 5, lesionectomy; and 3, functional hemispherotomy. One year after reoperation, 58% of the children were completely seizure free (International League Against Epilepsy [ILAE] Class 1) and 75% had a reduction in seizures (ILAE Classes 1–4). Patients with MEG clustered dipoles were more likely to be seizure free than to have persistent seizures (71% vs 40%, p = 0.08).

CONCLUSIONS

Reoperation in children with recurrent seizures after the first epilepsy surgery could result in favorable seizure outcomes. Those with residual lesion after the first surgery should undergo complete resection of the lesion to improve seizure outcome. In addition to MRI and VEEG, MEG should be considered as part of the reevaluation prior to reoperation.

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Chusak Limotai, Cristina Y. Go, Shiro Baba, Kazuo Okanari, Ayako Ochi, James T. Rutka, O. Carter Snead III and Hiroshi Otsubo

Infants with Sturge-Weber syndrome (SWS) are considered for surgery if they develop seizures and the seizures prove medically refractory. The authors report on 2 infants (15 and 19 months old) with SWS who underwent scalp video electroencephalography (EEG) and subsequent functional hemispherotomy for intractable partial motor seizures due to extensive left hemispheric angiomatosis. They presented with similar interictal and ictal EEG findings. Ictal EEG showed abrupt high-amplitude delta slow waves, without evolution on the contralateral hemisphere before the build-up of ictal EEG changes on the lesional hemisphere. The patients became seizure free after hemispherotomy. The ictal contralateral slow waves were not a sign of an ictal hemisphere and may indicate prominent ischemic changes resulting from a steal phenomenon of hemispheric angiomatosis during seizure.

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Çagatay Önal, Hiroshi Otsubo, Takashi Araki, Shiro Chitoku, Ayako Ochi, Shelly Weiss, William Logan, Irene Elliott, O. Carter Snead III and James T. Rutka

Object. This study was performed to evaluate the complications of invasive subdural grid monitoring during epilepsy surgery in children.

Methods. The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of 35 consecutive children with intractable localization-related epilepsy who underwent invasive video electroencephalography (EEG) with subdural grid electrodes at The Hospital for Sick Children between 1996 and 2001. After subdural grid monitoring and identification of the epileptic regions, cortical excisions and/or multiple subpial transections (MSTs) were performed. Complications after these procedures were then categorized as either surgical or neurological.

There were 17 male and 18 female patients whose mean age was 11.7 years. The duration of epilepsy before surgery ranged from 2 to 17 years (mean 8.3 years). Fifteen children (43%) had previously undergone surgical procedures for epilepsy. The number of electrodes on the grids ranged from 40 to 117 (mean 95). During invasive video EEG, cerebrospinal fluid leaks occurred in seven patients. Also, cerebral edema (five patients), subdural hematoma (five patients), and intracerebral hematoma (three patients) were observed on postprocedural imaging studies but did not require surgical intervention. Hypertrophic scars on the scalp were observed in nine patients. There were three infections, including one case of osteomyelitis and two superficial wound infections. Blood loss and the amounts of subsequent transfusions correlated directly with the size and number of electrodes on the grids (p < 0.001). Twenty-eight children derived significant benefit from cortical resections and MSTs, with a more than 50% reduction of seizures and a mean follow-up period of 30 months.

Conclusions. The results of this study indicate that carefully selected pediatric patients with intractable epilepsy can benefit from subdural invasive monitoring procedures that entail definite but acceptable risks.

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Koji Iida, Hiroshi Otsubo, Yuuri Matsumoto, Ayako Ochi, Makoto Oishi, Stephanie Holowka, Elizabeth Pang, Irene Elliott, Shelly K. Weiss, Sylvester H. Chuang, O. Carter Snead III and James T. Rutka

Object

The authors sought to validate magnetoencephalography spike sources (MEGSSs) in neuronavigation during epilepsy surgery in pediatric patients.

Methods

The distributions of MEGSSs in 16 children were defined and classified as clusters (Class I), greater than or equal to 20 MEGSSs with 1 cm or less between MEGSSs; small clusters (Class II), 6 to 19 with 1 cm or less between; and scatters (Class III), less than 6 or greater than 1 cm between spike sources. Using neuronavigation, the MEGSSs were correlated to epileptic zones from intra- and extraoperative electrocorticography (ECoG), surgical procedures, disease entities, and seizure outcomes.

Thirteen patients underwent MEGSSs: nine had clusters; two had small clusters, one with and one without clusters; and three had scatters alone. All 13 had scatters. Clusters localized within and extended from areas of cortical dysplasia and at margins of tumors or cystic lesions. All clusters were colocalized to ECoG-defined epileptic zones. Four of six patients with clusters and/or small clusters underwent complete excisions, and two underwent partial excision with or without multiple subpial transections. In the three patients with scatters alone, ECoG revealed epileptic zones buried within MEGSS areas; these regions of scatters were completely excised and treated with multiple subpial transections. Coexisting scatters were left untreated in nine of 10 patients. Postoperatively, nine of 13 patients were seizure free; the four patients with residual seizures had clusters in unresected eloquent cortex. Three patients in whom no MEGSSs were demonstrated underwent lesionectomies and were seizure free.

Conclusions

Magnetoencephalography spike source clusters indicate an epileptic zone requiring complete excision. Coexisting scatters remote from clusters are nonepileptogenic and do not require excision. Scatters alone, however, should be examined by ECoG; an epileptic zone may exist within these distributions.

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Koji Iida, Hiroshi Otsubo, Yuuri Matsumoto, Ayako Ochi, Makoto Oishi, Stephanie Holowka, Elizabeth Pang, Irene Elliott, Shelly K. Weiss, Sylvester H. Chuang, O. Carter Snead III and James T. Rutka

Object. The authors sought to validate magnetoencephalography spike sources (MEGSSs) in neuronavigation during epilepsy surgery in pediatric patients.

Methods. The distributions of MEGSSs in 16 children were defined and classified as clusters (Class I), greater than or equal to 20 MEGSSs with 1 cm or less between MEGSSs; small clusters (Class II), 6 to 19 with 1 cm or less between; and scatters (Class III), less than 6 or greater than 1 cm between spike sources. Using neuronavigation, the MEGSSs were correlated to epileptic zones from intra- and extraoperative electrocorticography (ECoG), surgical procedures, disease entities, and seizure outcomes.

Thirteen patients underwent MEGSSs: nine had clusters; two had small clusters, one with and one without clusters; and three had scatters alone. All 13 had scatters. Clusters localized within and extended from areas of cortical dysplasia and at margins of tumors or cystic lesions. All clusters were colocalized to ECoG-defined epileptic zones. Four of six patients with clusters and/or small clusters underwent complete excisions, and two underwent partial excision with or without multiple subpial transections. In the three patients with scatters alone, ECoG revealed epileptic zones buried within MEGSS areas; these regions of scatters were completely excised and treated with multiple subpial transections. Coexisting scatters were left untreated in nine of 10 patients. Postoperatively, nine of 13 patients were seizure free; the four patients with residual seizures had clusters in unresected eloquent cortex. Three patients in whom no MEGSSs were demonstrated underwent lesionectomies and were seizure free.

Conclusions. Magnetoencephalography spike source clusters indicate an epileptic zone requiring complete excision. Coexisting scatters remote from clusters are nonepileptogenic and do not require excision. Scatters alone, however, should be examined by ECoG; an epileptic zone may exist within these distributions.

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Erin N. Kiehna, Elysa Widjaja, Stephanie Holowka, O. Carter Snead III, James Drake, Shelly K. Weiss, Ayako Ochi, Eric M. Thompson, Cristina Go, Hiroshi Otsubo, Elizabeth J. Donner and James T. Rutka

OBJECT

Hemispherectomy for unilateral, medically refractory epilepsy is associated with excellent long-term seizure control. However, for patients with recurrent seizures following disconnection, workup and investigation can be challenging, and surgical options may be limited. Few studies have examined the role of repeat hemispherotomy in these patients. The authors hypothesized that residual fiber connections between the hemispheres could be the underlying cause of recurrent epilepsy in these patients. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was used to test this hypothesis, and to target residual connections at reoperation using neuronavigation.

METHODS

The authors identified 8 patients with recurrent seizures following hemispherectomy who underwent surgery between 1995 and 2012. Prolonged video electroencephalography recordings documented persistent seizures arising from the affected hemisphere. In all patients, DTI demonstrated residual white matter association fibers connecting the hemispheres. A repeat craniotomy and neuronavigation-guided targeted disconnection of these residual fibers was performed. Engel class was used to determine outcome after surgery at a minimum of 2 years of follow-up.

RESULTS

Two patients underwent initial hemidecortication and 6 had periinsular hemispherotomy as their first procedures at a median age of 9.7 months. Initial pathologies included hemimegalencephaly (n = 4), multilobar cortical dysplasia (n = 3), and Rasmussen's encephalitis (n = 1). The mean duration of seizure freedom for the group after the initial procedure was 32.5 months (range 6–77 months). In all patients, DTI showed limited but definite residual connections between the 2 hemispheres, primarily across the rostrum/genu of the corpus callosum. The median age at reoperation was 6.8 years (range 1.3–14 years). The average time taken for reoperation was 3 hours (range 1.8–4.3 hours), with a mean blood loss of 150 ml (range 50–250 ml). One patient required a blood transfusion. Five patients are seizure free, and the remaining 3 patients are Engel Class II, with a minimum follow-up of 24 months for the group.

CONCLUSIONS

Repeat hemispherotomy is an option for consideration in patients with recurrent intractable epilepsy following failed surgery for catastrophic epilepsy. In conjunction with other modalities to establish seizure onset zones, advanced MRI and DTI sequences may be of value in identifying patients with residual connectivity between the affected and unaffected hemispheres. Targeted disconnection of these residual areas of connectivity using neuronavigation may result in improved seizure outcomes, with minimal and acceptable morbidity.

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Shobhan Vachhrajani, Sandrine de Ribaupierre, Hiroshi Otsubo, Ayako Ochi, Shelly K. Weiss, Elizabeth J. Donner, Elysa Widjaja, Elizabeth Kerr, Mary Lou Smith, James Drake, O. Carter Snead III and James T. Rutka

Object

Pediatric frontal lobe epilepsy (FLE) remains a challenging condition for neurosurgeons and epileptologists to manage. Postoperative seizure outcomes remain far inferior to those observed in temporal lobe epilepsies, possibly due to inherent difficulties in delineating and subsequently completely resecting responsible epileptogenic regions. In this study, the authors review their institutional experience with the surgical management of FLE and attempt to find predictors that may help to improve seizure outcome in this population.

Methods

All surgically treated cases of intractable FLE from 1990 to 2008 were reviewed. Demographic information, preoperative and intraoperative imaging and electrophysiological investigations, and follow-up seizure outcome were assessed. Inferential statistics were performed to look for potential predictors of seizure outcome.

Results

Forty patients (20 male, 20 female) underwent surgical management of FLE during the study period. Patients were an average of 5.6 years old at the time of FLE onset and 11.7 years at the time of surgery; patients were followed for a mean of 40.25 months. Most patients displayed typical FLE semiology. Twenty-eight patients had discrete lesions identified on MRI. Eight patients underwent 2 operations. Cortical dysplasia was the most common pathological diagnosis. Engel Class I outcome was obtained in 25 patients (62.5%), while Engel Class II outcome was observed in 5 patients (12.5%). No statistically significant predictors of outcome were found.

Conclusions

Control of FLE remains a challenging problem. Favorable seizure outcome, obtained in 62% of patients in this series, is still not as easily obtained in FLE as it is in temporal lobe epilepsy. While no statistically significant predictors of seizure outcome were revealed in this study, patients with FLE continue to require extensive workup and investigation to arrive at a logical and comprehensive neurosurgical treatment plan. Future studies with improved neuroimaging and advanced invasive monitoring strategies may well help define factors for success in this form of epilepsy that is difficult to control.

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George M. Ibrahim, Benjamin W. Barry, Aria Fallah, O. Carter Snead III, James M. Drake, James T. Rutka and Mark Bernstein

Epilepsy is a common childhood condition associated with a considerable medical and psychosocial burden. Children in whom medical treatment fails to reduce seizure burden represent an especially vulnerable patient population because prolonged, uncontrolled seizures are associated with poor developmental and neurocognitive outcomes. Surgical treatment in the form of cortical resection, functional disconnection, or neuromodulation may alleviate or significantly reduce the disease burden for a subset of these patients. However, there remains a dichotomy between the perceived benefits of surgery and the implementation of surgical strategies in the management of medically intractable epilepsy. The current paper presents an analysis of the bioethical implications of existing inequities in access to pediatric epilepsy surgery that result from inconsistent referral practices and discrepant evaluation techniques. The authors provide a basic bioethical framework composed of 5 primary expectations to inform public, institutional, and personal policies toward the provision of epilepsy surgery to afflicted children.