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Editorial

Diffusion tensor tractography and epilepsy

Fredric B. Meyer

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Sophie Colnat-Coulbois, Kelvin Mok, Denise Klein, Sidonie Pénicaud, Taner Tanriverdi, and André Olivier

Object

The aim of this study was to evaluate, using diffusion tensor tractography, the white matter fibers crossing the hippocampus and the amygdala, and to perform a volumetric analysis and an anatomical study of the connections of these 2 structures. As a second step, the authors studied the white matter tracts crossing a virtual volume of resection corresponding to a selective amygdalohippocampectomy.

Methods

Twenty healthy right-handed individuals underwent 3-T MR imaging. Volumetric regions of interest were manually created to delineate the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the volume of resection. White matter fiber tracts were parcellated using the fiber assignment for continuous tracking tractography algorithm. All fibers were registered with the anatomical volumes.

Results

In all participants, the authors identified fibers following the hippocampus toward the fornix, the splenium of the corpus callosum, and the dorsal hippocampal commissure. With respect to the fibers crossing the amygdala, the authors identified the stria terminalis and the uncinate fasciculus. The virtual resection disrupted part of the fornix, fibers connecting the 2 hippocampi, and fibers joining the orbitofrontal cortex. The approach created a theoretical frontotemporal disconnection and also interrupted fibers joining the temporal pole and the occipital area.

Conclusions

This diffusion tensor tractography study allowed for good visualization of some of the connections of the amygdala and hippocampus. The authors observed that the virtual selective amygdalohippocampectomy disconnected a large number of fibers connecting frontal, temporal, and occipital areas.

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Chifaou Abdallah, Hélène Brissart, Sophie Colnat-Coulbois, Ludovic Pierson, Olivier Aron, Natacha Forthoffer, Jean-Pierre Vignal, Louise Tyvaert, Jacques Jonas, and Louis Maillard

OBJECTIVE

In drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) patients, the authors evaluated early and late outcomes for decline in visual object naming after dominant temporal lobe resection (TLR) according to the resection status of the basal temporal language area (BTLA) identified by cortical stimulation during stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG).

METHODS

Twenty patients who underwent SEEG for drug-resistant TLE met the inclusion criteria. During language mapping, a site was considered positive when stimulation of two contiguous contacts elicited at least one naming impairment during two remote sessions. After TLR ipsilateral to their BTLA, patients were classified as BTLA+ when at least one positive language site was resected and as BTLA− when all positive language sites were preserved. Outcomes in naming and verbal fluency tests were assessed using pre- and postoperative (means of 7 and 25 months after surgery) scores at the group level and reliable change indices (RCIs) for clinically meaningful changes at the individual level.

RESULTS

BTLA+ patients (n = 7) had significantly worse naming scores than BTLA− patients (n = 13) within 1 year after surgery but not at the long-term evaluation. No difference in verbal fluency tests was observed. When RCIs were used, 5 of 18 patients (28%) had naming decline within 1 year postoperatively (corresponding to 57% of BTLA+ and 9% of BTLA− patients). A significant correlation was found between BTLA resection and naming decline.

CONCLUSIONS

BTLA resection is associated with a specific and early naming decline. Even if this decline is transient, naming scores in BTLA+ patients tend to remain lower compared to their baseline. SEEG mapping helps to predict postoperative language outcome after dominant TLR.

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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.