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Cornelia Drees, Kevin Chapman, Erin Prenger, Leslie Baxter, Rama Maganti, Harold Rekate, Andrew Shetter, Maggie Bobrowitz and John F. Kerrigan

Object

This study aimed at identifying outcomes with respect to seizures, morbidity, and mortality in adult patients undergoing resective or Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) to treat intractable epilepsy associated with hypothalamic hamartoma (HH).

Methods

Adult patients undergoing surgical treatment for HH-related epilepsy were prospectively monitored at a single center for complications and seizure outcome by using a proprietary database. Preintervention and postintervention data for patients 18 years of age and older, and with at least 1 year of follow-up, were analyzed, with specific attention to seizure control, complications, hormonal status, and death.

Results

Forty adult patients were found in the database (21 were women). The median HH volume was 0.54 cm3. In 70% of patients, it was located inside the third ventricle, attached unilaterally and vertically to the hypothalamus (Delalande Type II). Most patients (26) underwent an endoscopic resection, 10 patients had a transcallosal or other type of open (pterional or orbitozygomatic) resection, and 4 patients chose GKS.

Twenty-nine percent became seizure free in the long term, and overall a majority of patients (55%) reported at least > 90% seizure improvement. Only 3 patients were ultimately able to discontinue anticonvulsants, whereas most patients were taking an average of 2 antiepileptic drugs pre- and postoperatively. The only factor significantly correlated with seizure-free outcome was the absence of mental retardation. The HH volume, HH type, and amount of resection or disconnection were not correlated to seizure freedom. A total of 4 patients (10%) died, 2 immediately after surgery and 2 later. All of them had undergone a resection, as opposed to GKS, and still had seizures. Postoperatively, persistent neurological deficits were seen in 1 patient; 34% of patients had mild hormonal problems; and 59% experienced weight gain of at least 6.8 kg (average gain 12.7 kg).

Conclusions

Surgical or GKS procedures in adults with HH provided seizure freedom in one-third of patients. The only significant favorable prognostic factor was the absence of mental retardation. The overall mortality rate was high, at 10%. Other important morbidities were persistent hormonal disturbances and weight gain.

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Andrew S. Little, Kris A. Smith, Kristin Kirlin, Leslie C. Baxter, Steve Chung, Rama Maganti and David M. Treiman

Object

The authors introduce a minimal-access subtemporal approach for selective resection of the amygdala and hippocampus in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy and describe seizure and neuropsychological outcomes.

Methods

Between October 2003 and April 2007, 41 consecutive patients with intractable unilateral nonlesional temporal lobe epilepsy underwent image-guided subtemporal amygdalohippocampectomy. Baseline characteristics, preoperative evaluations, and seizure outcomes were assessed. Eighteen patients underwent pre- and postoperative neuropsychological testing for cognitive functioning, executive functioning, verbal and visual memory, and mood.

Results

Important aspects of the subtemporal approach include a low temporal keyhole craniotomy, use of image guidance, preservation of the tentorium, incision in the fusiform gyrus, and subpial, en bloc resection of the hippocampus. There were no deaths and no cases of significant postoperative morbidity. At 1 year, 29 of 36 patients (81%) were without seizures or auras. At 2 years, 17 of 23 (74%) patients were seizure- and aura-free. Detailed neuropsychological testing of language, memory, cognitive functioning, and executive functioning suggested that most patients exhibited either stability or improvement in their scores, regardless of language lateralization.

Conclusions

A minimal-access subtemporal approach for amygdalohippocampectomy is an effective treatment for temporal lobe epilepsy yielding encouraging preliminary seizure and neuropsychological outcomes.