Open surgery effectively treats mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, but carries the risk of neurocognitive deficits, which may be reduced with minimally invasive alternatives.
To describe technical and clinical outcomes of stereotactic laser amygdalohippocampotomy with real-time magnetic resonance thermal imaging guidance.
With patients under general anesthesia and using standard stereotactic methods, 13 adult patients with intractable mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (with and without mesial temporal sclerosis [MTS]) prospectively underwent insertion of a saline-cooled fiberoptic laser applicator in amygdalohippocampal structures from an occipital trajectory. Computer-controlled laser ablation was performed during continuous magnetic resonance thermal imaging followed by confirmatory contrast-enhanced anatomic imaging and volumetric reconstruction. Clinical outcomes were determined from seizure diaries.
A mean 60% volume of the amygdalohippocampal complex was ablated in 13 patients (9 with MTS) undergoing 15 procedures. Median hospitalization was 1 day. With follow-up ranging from 5 to 26 months (median, 14 months), 77% (10/13) of patients achieved meaningful seizure reduction, of whom 54% (7/13) were free of disabling seizures. Of patients with preoperative MTS, 67% (6/9) achieved seizure freedom. All recurrences were observed before 6 months. Variances in ablation volume and length did not account for individual clinical outcomes. Although no complications of laser therapy itself were observed, 1 significant complication, a visual field defect, resulted from deviated insertion of a stereotactic aligning rod, which was corrected before ablation.
Real-time magnetic resonance-guided stereotactic laser amygdalohippocampotomy is a technically novel, safe, and effective alternative to open surgery. Further evaluation with larger cohorts over time is warranted.
AHC, amygdalohippocampal complex
ATLAH, anterior temporal lobectomy with amygdalohippocampectomy
DWI, diffusion-weighted imaging
FDA, Food and Drug Administration
FLAIR, fluid-attenuated inversion recovery
MRTI, magnetic resonance thermal imaging
MTLE, mesial temporal lobe epilepsy
MTS, mesial temporal sclerosis
SAH, selective amygdalohippocampectomy
SLAH, stereotactic laser amygdalohippocampotomy
SRS, stereotactic radiosurgery