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Christian Dorfer, Thomas Czech, Susanne Aull-Watschinger, Christoph Baumgartner, Rebekka Jung, Gregor Kasprian, Klaus Novak, Susanne Pirker, Birgit Seidl, Harald Stefanits, Karin Trimmel and Ekaterina Pataraia

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to present long-term seizure outcome data in a consecutive series of patients with refractory mesial temporal lobe epilepsy primarily treated with transsylvian selective amygdalohippocampectomy (SAHE).

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed prospectively collected data for all patients who had undergone resective surgery for medically refractory epilepsy at their institution between July 1994 and December 2014. Seizure outcome was assessed according to the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) and the Engel classifications.

RESULTS

The authors performed an SAHE in 158 patients (78 males, 80 females; 73 right side, 85 left side) with a mean age of 37.1 ± 10.0 years at surgery. Four patients lost to follow-up and 1 patient who committed suicide were excluded from analysis. The mean follow-up period was 9.7 years. At the last available follow-up (or before reoperation), 68 patients (44.4%) had achieved an outcome classified as ILAE Class 1a, 46 patients (30.1%) Class 1, 6 patients (3.9%) Class 2, 16 patients (10.4%) Class 3, 15 patients (9.8%) Class 4, and 2 patients (1.3%) Class 5. These outcomes correspond to Engel Class I in 78.4% of the patients, Engel Class II in 10.5%, Engel Class III in 8.5%, and Engel Class IV in 2.0%. Eleven patients underwent a second surgery (anterior temporal lobectomy) after a mean of 4.4 years from the SAHE (left side in 6 patients, right side in 5). Eight (72.7%) of these 11 patients achieved seizure freedom.

The overall ILEA seizure outcome since (re)operation after a mean follow-up of 10.0 years was Class 1a in 72 patients (47.0%), Class 1 in 50 patients (32.6%), Class 2 in 7 patients (4.6%), Class 3 in 15 patients (9.8%), Class 4 in 8 patients (5.2%), and Class 5 in 1 patient (0.6%). These outcomes correspond to an Engel Class I outcome in 84.3% of the patients.

CONCLUSIONS

A satisfactory long-term seizure outcome following transsylvian SAHE was demonstrated in a selected group of patients with refractory temporal lobe epilepsy.

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Olivia Foesleitner, Benjamin Sigl, Victor Schmidbauer, Karl-Heinz Nenning, Ekaterina Pataraia, Lisa Bartha-Doering, Christoph Baumgartner, Susanne Pirker, Doris Moser, Michelle Schwarz, Johannes A. Hainfellner, Thomas Czech, Christian Dorfer, Georg Langs, Daniela Prayer, Silvia Bonelli and Gregor Kasprian

OBJECTIVE

Epilepsy surgery is the recommended treatment option for patients with drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). This method offers a good chance of seizure freedom but carries a considerable risk of postoperative language impairment. The extremely variable neurocognitive profiles in surgical epilepsy patients cannot be fully explained by extent of resection, fiber integrity, or current task-based functional MRI (fMRI). In this study, the authors aimed to investigate pathology- and surgery-triggered language organization in TLE by using fMRI activation and network analysis as well as considering structural and neuropsychological measures.

METHODS

Twenty-eight patients with unilateral TLE (16 right, 12 left) underwent T1-weighted imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, and task-based language fMRI pre- and postoperatively (n = 15 anterior temporal lobectomy, n = 11 selective amygdalohippocampectomy, n = 2 focal resection). Twenty-two healthy subjects served as the control cohort. Functional connectivity, activation maps, and laterality indices for language dominance were analyzed from fMRI data. Postoperative fractional anisotropy values of 7 major tracts were calculated. Naming, semantic, and phonematic verbal fluency scores before and after surgery were correlated with imaging parameters.

RESULTS

fMRI network analysis revealed widespread, bihemispheric alterations in language architecture that were not captured by activation analysis. These network changes were found preoperatively and proceeded after surgery with characteristic patterns in the left and right TLEs. Ipsilesional fronto-temporal connectivity decreased in both left and right TLE. In left TLE specifically, preoperative atypical language dominance predicted better postoperative verbal fluency and naming function. In right TLE, left frontal language dominance correlated with good semantic verbal fluency before and after surgery, and left fronto-temporal language laterality predicted good naming outcome. Ongoing seizures after surgery (Engel classes ID–IV) were associated with naming deterioration irrespective of seizure side. Functional findings were not explained by the extent of resection or integrity of major white matter tracts.

CONCLUSIONS

Functional connectivity analysis contributes unique insight into bihemispheric remodeling processes of language networks after epilepsy surgery, with characteristic findings in left and right TLE. Presurgical contralateral language recruitment is associated with better postsurgical language outcome in left and right TLE.