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Efficacy and safety of corpus callosotomy after vagal nerve stimulation in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy

Jennifer Hong, Atman Desai, Vijay M. Thadani, and David W. Roberts

OBJECTIVE

Vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) and corpus callosotomy (CC) have both been shown to be of benefit in the treatment of medically refractory epilepsy. Recent case series have reviewed the efficacy of VNS in patients who have undergone CC, with encouraging results. There are few data, however, on the use of CC following VNS therapy.

METHODS

The records of all patients at the authors' center who underwent CC following VNS between 1998 and 2015 were reviewed. Patient baseline characteristics, operative details, and postoperative outcomes were analyzed.

RESULTS

Ten patients met inclusion criteria. The median follow-up was 72 months, with a minimum follow-up of 12 months (range 12–109 months). The mean time between VNS and CC was 53.7 months. The most common reason for CC was progression of seizures after VNS. Seven patients had anterior CC, and 3 patients returned to the operating room for a completion of the procedure. All patients had a decrease in the rate of falls and drop seizures; 7 patients experienced elimination of drop seizures. Nine patients had an Engel Class III outcome, and 1 patient had a Class IV outcome. There were 3 immediate postoperative complications and 1 delayed complication. One patient developed pneumonia, 1 developed transient mutism, and 1 had persistent weakness in the nondominant foot. One patient presented with a wound infection.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors demonstrate that CC can help reduce seizures in patients with medically refractory epilepsy following VNS, particularly with respect to drop attacks.

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Robotic image-guided depth electrode implantation in the evaluation of medically intractable epilepsy

Technical note

William J. Spire, Barbara C. Jobst, Vijay M. Thadani, Peter D. Williamson, Terrance M. Darcey, and David W. Roberts

Object

The authors describe their experience with a technique for robotic implantation of depth electrodes in patients concurrently undergoing craniotomy and placement of subdural monitoring electrodes for the evaluation of intractable epilepsy.

Methods

Patients included in this study underwent evaluation in the Dartmouth Surgical Epilepsy Program and were recommended for invasive seizure monitoring with depth electrodes between 2006 and the present. In all cases an image-guided robotic system was used during craniotomy for concurrent subdural grid electrode placement. A total of 7 electrodes were placed in 4 patients within the time period.

Results

Three of 4 patients had successful localization of seizure onset, and 2 underwent subsequent resection. Of the patients who underwent resection, 1 is now seizure free, and the second has only auras. There was 1 complication after subpial grid placement but no complications related to the depth electrodes.

Conclusions

Robotic image-guided placement of depth electrodes with concurrent craniotomy is feasible, and the technique is safe, accurate, and efficient.

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Stereotactic depth electrode investigation of the insula in the evaluation of medically intractable epilepsy

Clinical article

Atman Desai, Barbara C. Jobst, Vijay M. Thadani, Krzysztof A. Bujarski, Karen Gilbert, Terrance M. Darcey, and David W. Roberts

Object

The authors describe their experience with stereotactic implantation of insular depth electrodes in patients with medically intractable epilepsy.

Methods

Between 2001 and 2009, 20 patients with epilepsy and suspected insular involvement during seizures underwent intracranial electrode array implantation at the authors' institution. All patients had either 1 or 2 insular depth electrodes placed as part of an intracranial array.

Results

A total of 29 insular depth electrodes were placed using a frontal oblique trajectory. Eleven patients had a single insular electrode placed and 8 patients had 2 insular electrodes placed unilaterally. One patient had bilateral insular electrodes implanted. Postoperative imaging demonstrated satisfactory placement in all but 1 instance, and there was no associated morbidity or mortality. Fourteen patients underwent a subsequent resection, involving the frontal lobe (9 patients), temporal lobe (4), or frontotemporal lobes (1), and of these, 11 currently have Engel Class I outcome. Two patients (10%) had seizures originating within the insula and another 5 patients (25%) demonstrated early specific insular involvement. Neither patient with an insular seizure focus went on to resection. All 5 of the patients with early specific insular involvement underwent an insula-sparing resective procedure with Engel Class I outcome in all cases.

Conclusions

Stereotactic placement of insular electrodes via a frontal oblique approach is a safe and efficient technique for investigating insular involvement in medically intractable epilepsy. The information obtained from insular recording can be valuable for appreciating the degree of insular contribution to seizures, allowing localization to the insula or clearer implication of other sites.

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Occipitotemporal hippocampal depth electrodes in intracranial epilepsy monitoring: safety and utility

Clinical article

Kimon Bekelis, Atman Desai, Alex Kotlyar, Vijay Thadani, Barbara C. Jobst, Krzysztof Bujarski, Terrance M. Darcey, and David W. Roberts

Object

Intracranial monitoring for epilepsy has been proven to enhance diagnostic accuracy and provide localizing information for surgical treatment of intractable seizures. The authors investigated the usefulness of hippocampal depth electrodes in the era of more advanced imaging techniques.

Methods

Between 1988 and 2010, 100 patients underwent occipitotemporal hippocampal depth electrode (OHDE) implantation as part of invasive seizure monitoring, and their charts were retrospectively reviewed. The authors' technique involved the stereotactically guided (using the Leksell model G frame) implantation of a 12-contact depth electrode directed along the long axis of the hippocampus, through an occipital twist drill hole.

Results

Of the 100 patients (mean age 35.0 years [range 13–58 years], 51% male) who underwent intracranial investigation, 84 underwent resection of the seizure focus. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed mesial temporal sclerosis (MTS) in 27% of patients, showed abnormal findings without MTS in 55% of patients, and showed normal findings in 18% of patients. One patient developed a small asymptomatic occipital hemorrhage around the electrode tract. The use of OHDEs enabled epilepsy resection in 45.7% of patients who eventually underwent standard or selective temporal lobe resection. The hippocampal formation was spared during surgery because data obtained from the depth electrodes showed no or only secondary involvement in 14% of patients with preoperative temporal localization. The use of OHDEs prevented resections in 12% of patients with radiographic evidence of MTS. Eighty-three percent of patients who underwent resection had Engel Class I (68%) or II (15%) outcome at 2 years of follow-up.

Conclusions

The use of OHDEs for intracranial epilepsy monitoring has a favorable risk profile, and in the authors' experience it proved to be a valuable component of intracranial investigation. The use of OHDEs can provide the sole evidence for resection of some epileptogenic foci and can also result in hippocampal sparing or prevent likely unsuccessful resection in other patients.

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Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease probably acquired from a cadaveric dura mater graft

Case report

Vijay Thadani, Paul L. Penar, Jonathan Partington, Robert Kalb, Robert Janssen, Lawrence B. Schonberger, Charles S. Rabkin, and James W. Prichard

✓ A case of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is reported in a 28-year-old woman who had received a cadaveric dural graft 19 months earlier after resection of a cholesteatoma. The circumstances of the case point to the graft as the most likely source of the disease. Cadaveric dura should be added to the list of materials that may transmit CJD, and it must be very carefully screened if it is used at all for grafting. Autologous tissue should be considered whenever possible.

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Subdural interhemispheric grid electrodes for intracranial epilepsy monitoring: feasibility, safety, and utility

Clinical article

Kimon Bekelis, Tarek A. Radwan, Atman Desai, Ziev B. Moses, Vijay M. Thadani, Barbara C. Jobst, Krzysztof A. Bujarski, Terrance M. Darcey, and David W. Roberts

Object

Intracranial monitoring for epilepsy has been proven to enhance diagnostic accuracy and provide localizing information for surgical treatment of intractable seizures. The authors investigated their experience with interhemispheric grid electrodes (IHGEs) to assess the hypothesis that they are feasible, safe, and useful.

Methods

Between 1992 and 2010, 50 patients underwent IHGE implantation (curvilinear double-sided 2 × 8 or 3 × 8 grids) as part of arrays for invasive seizure monitoring, and their charts were retrospectively reviewed.

Results

Of the 50 patients who underwent intracranial investigation with IHGEs, 38 eventually underwent resection of the seizure focus. These 38 patients had a mean age of 30.7 years (range 11–58 years), and 63% were males. Complications as a result of IHGE implantation consisted of transient leg weakness in 1 patient. Of all the patients who underwent resective surgery, 21 (55.3%) had medial frontal resections, 9 of whom (43%) had normal MRI results. Localization in all of these cases was possible only because of data from IHGEs, and the extent of resection was tailored based on these data. Of the 17 patients (44.7%) who underwent other cortical resections, IHGEs were helpful in excluding medial seizure onset. Twelve patients did not undergo resection because of nonlocalizable or multifocal disease; in 2 patients localization to the motor cortex precluded resection. Seventy-one percent of patients who underwent resection had Engel Class I outcome at the 2-year follow-up.

Conclusions

The use of IHGEs in intracranial epilepsy monitoring has a favorable risk profile and in the authors' experience proved to be a valuable component of intracranial investigation, providing the sole evidence for resection of some epileptogenic foci.

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Long-term seizure, cognitive, and psychiatric outcome following trans–middle temporal gyrus amygdalohippocampectomy and standard temporal lobectomy

Clinical article

Krzysztof A. Bujarski, Fuyuki Hirashima, David W. Roberts, Barbara C. Jobst, Karen L. Gilbert, Robert M. Roth, Laura A. Flashman, Brenna C. McDonald, Andrew J. Saykin, Rod C. Scott, Eric Dinnerstein, Julie Preston, Peter D. Williamson, and Vijay M. Thadani

Object

Previous comparisons of standard temporal lobectomy (STL) and selective amygdalohippocampectomy (SelAH) have been limited by inadequate long-term follow-up, variable definitions of favorable outcome, and inadequate consideration of psychiatric comorbidities.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of seizure, cognitive, and psychiatric outcomes in a noncontemporaneous cohort of 69 patients with unilateral refractory temporal lobe epilepsy and MRI evidence of mesial temporal sclerosis after either an STL or an SelAH and examined seizure, cognitive, and psychiatric outcomes.

Results

The mean duration of follow-up for STL was 9.7 years (range 1–18 years), and for trans–middle temporal gyrus SelAH (mtg-SelAH) it was 6.85 years (range 1–15 years). There was no significant difference in seizure outcome when “favorable” was defined as time to loss of Engel Class I or II status; better seizure outcome was seen in the STL group when “favorable” was defined as time to loss of Engel Class IA status (p = 0.034). Further analysis revealed a higher occurrence of seizures solely during attempted medication withdrawal in the mtg-SelAH group than in the STL group (p = 0.016). The authors found no significant difference in the effect of surgery type on any cognitive and most psychiatric variables. Standard temporal lobectomy was associated with significantly higher scores on assessment of postsurgical paranoia (p = 0.048).

Conclusions

Overall, few differences in seizure, cognitive, and psychiatric outcome were found between STL and mtg-SelAH on long-term follow-up. Longer exposure to medication side effects after mtg-SelAH may adversely affect quality of life but is unlikely to cause additional functional impairment. In patients with high levels of presurgical psychiatric disease, mtg-SelAH may be the preferred surgery type.