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Kaitlyn Casimo, Fabio Grassia, Sandra L. Poliachik, Edward Novotny, Andrew Poliakov, and Jeffrey G. Ojemann

Prior studies of functional connectivity following callosotomy have disagreed in the observed effects on interhemispheric functional connectivity. These connectivity studies, in multiple electrophysiological methods and functional MRI, have found conflicting reductions in connectivity or patterns resembling typical individuals. The authors examined a case of partial anterior corpus callosum connection, where pairs of bilateral electrocorticographic electrodes had been placed over homologous regions in the left and right hemispheres. They sorted electrode pairs by whether their direct corpus callosum connection had been disconnected or preserved using diffusion tensor imaging and native anatomical MRI, and they estimated functional connectivity between pairs of electrodes over homologous regions using phase-locking value. They found no significant differences in any frequency band between pairs of electrodes that had their corpus callosum connection disconnected and those that had an intact connection. The authors’ results may imply that the corpus callosum is not an obligatory mediator of connectivity between homologous sites in opposite hemispheres. This interhemispheric synchronization may also be linked to disruption of seizure activity.

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Carter D. Wray, Diana L. Kraemer, Tong Yang, Sandra L. Poliachik, Andrew L. Ko, Andrew Poliakov, Adam O. Hebb, Edward J. Novotny, and Jeffrey G. Ojemann

The presurgical evaluation of patients with epilepsy often requires an intracranial study in which both subdural grid electrodes and depth electrodes are needed. Performing a craniotomy for grid placement with a stereotactic frame in place can be problematic, especially in young children, leading some surgeons to consider frameless stereotaxy for such surgery. The authors report on the use of a system that uses electromagnetic impulses to track the tip of the depth electrode. Ten pediatric patients with medically refractory focal lobar epilepsy required placement of both subdural grid and intraparenchymal depth electrodes to map seizure onset. Presurgical frameless stereotaxic targeting was performed using a commercially available electromagnetic image-guided system. Freehand depth electrode placement was then performed with intraoperative guidance using an electromagnetic system that provided imaging of the tip of the electrode, something that has not been possible using visually or sonically based systems. Accuracy of placement of depth electrodes within the deep structures of interest was confirmed postoperatively using CT and CT/MR imaging fusion. Depth electrodes were appropriately placed in all patients. Electromagnetic-tracking–based stereotactic targeting improves the accuracy of freehand placement of depth electrodes in patients with medically refractory epilepsy. The ability to track the electrode tip, rather than the electrode tail, is a major feature that enhances accuracy. Additional advantages of electromagnetic frameless guidance are discussed.

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Fabio Grassia, Andrew V. Poliakov, Sandra L. Poliachik, Kaitlyn Casimo, Seth D. Friedman, Hillary Shurtleff, Carlo Giussani, Edward J. Novotny Jr., Jeffrey G. Ojemann, and Jason S. Hauptman


Functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI) is a form of fMRI that allows for analysis of blood oxygen level–dependent signal changes within a task-free, resting paradigm. This technique has been shown to have efficacy in evaluating network connectivity changes with epilepsy. Presurgical data from patients with unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy were evaluated using the fcMRI technique to define connectivity changes within and between the diseased and healthy temporal lobes using a within-subjects design.


Using presurgical fcMRI data from pediatric patients with unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy, the authors performed seed-based analyses within the diseased and healthy temporal lobes. Connectivity within and between temporal lobe seeds was measured and compared.


In the cohort studied, local ipsilateral temporal lobe connectivity was significantly increased on the diseased side compared to the healthy temporal lobe. Connectivity of the diseased side to the healthy side, on the other hand, was significantly reduced when compared to connectivity of the healthy side to the diseased temporal lobe. A statistically significant regression was observed when comparing the changes in local ipsilateral temporal lobe connectivity to the changes in inter–temporal lobe connectivity. A statistically significant difference was also noted in ipsilateral connectivity changes between patients with and those without mesial temporal sclerosis.


Using fcMRI, significant changes in ipsilateral temporal lobe and inter–temporal lobe connectivity can be appreciated in unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy. Furthermore, fcMRI may have a role in the presurgical evaluation of patients with intractable temporal lobe epilepsy.

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Sandra L. Poliachik, Andrew V. Poliakov, Laura A. Jansen, Sharon S. McDaniel, Carter D. Wray, John Kuratani, Russell P. Saneto, Jeffrey G. Ojemann, and Edward J. Novotny Jr


Imaging-guided surgery (IGS) systems are widely used in neurosurgical practice. During epilepsy surgery, the authors routinely use IGS landmarks to localize intracranial electrodes and/or specific brain regions. The authors have developed a technique to coregister these landmarks with pre- and postoperative scans and the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) standard space brain MRI to allow 1) localization and identification of tissue anatomy; and 2) identification of Brodmann areas (BAs) of the tissue resected during epilepsy surgery. Tracking tissue in this fashion allows for better correlation of patient outcome to clinical factors, functional neuroimaging findings, and pathological characteristics and molecular studies of resected tissue.


Tissue samples were collected in 21 patients. Coordinates from intraoperative tissue localization were downloaded from the IGS system and transformed into patient space, as defined by preoperative high-resolution T1-weighted MRI volume. Tissue landmarks in patient space were then transformed into MNI standard space for identification of the BAs of the tissue samples.


Anatomical locations of resected tissue were identified from the intraoperative resection landmarks. The BAs were identified for 17 of the 21 patients. The remaining patients had abnormal brain anatomy that could not be meaningfully coregistered with the MNI standard brain without causing extensive distortion.


This coregistration and landmark tracking technique allows localization of tissue that is resected from patients with epilepsy and identification of the BAs for each resected region. The ability to perform tissue localization allows investigators to relate preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative functional and anatomical brain imaging to better understand patient outcomes, improve patient safety, and aid in research.

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Carter D. Wray, Tim M. Blakely, Sandra L. Poliachik, Andrew Poliakov, Sharon S. McDaniel, Edward J. Novotny, Kai J. Miller, and Jeffrey G. Ojemann


The gold-standard method for determining cortical functional organization in the context of neurosurgical intervention is electrical cortical stimulation (ECS), which disrupts normal cortical function to evoke movement. This technique is imprecise, however, as motor responses are not limited to the precentral gyrus. Electrical cortical stimulation also can trigger seizures, is not always tolerated, and is often unsuccessful, especially in children. Alternatively, endogenous motor and sensory signals can be mapped by somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs), functional MRI (fMRI), and electrocorticography of high gamma (70–150 Hz) signal power, which reflect normal cortical function. The authors evaluated whether these 4 modalities of mapping sensorimotor function in children produce concurrent results.


The authors retrospectively examined the charts of all patients who underwent epilepsy surgery at Seattle Children's Hospital between July 20, 1999, and July 1, 2011, and they included all patients in whom the primary motor or somatosensory cortex was localized via 2 or more of the following tests: ECS, SSEP, fMRI, or high gamma electrocorticography (hgECoG).


Inclusion criteria were met by 50 patients, whose mean age at operation was 10.6 years. The youngest patient who underwent hgECoG mapping was 2 years and 10 months old, which is younger than any patient reported on in the literature. The authors localized the putative sensorimotor cortex most often with hgECoG, followed by SSEP and fMRI; ECS was most likely to fail to localize the sensorimotor cortex.


Electrical cortical stimulation, SSEP, fMRI, and hgECoG generally produced concordant localization of motor and sensory function in children. When attempting to localize the sensorimotor cortex in children, hgECoG was more likely to produce results, was faster, safer, and did not require cooperation. The hgECoG maps in pediatric patients are similar to those in adult patients published in the literature. The sensorimotor cortex can be mapped by hgECoG and fMRI in children younger than 3 years old to localize cortical function.