Hippocampal transection for treatment of left temporal lobe epilepsy with preservation of verbal memory
Despite good seizure outcome with temporal lobectomy, postoperative impairment of verbal memory remains unsolved. To address this problem we developed a new method, applying the rationale of multiple subpial transection (MST) to the hippocampus. The inferior ventricle is accessed without disrupting the neuronal pathways related to verbal memory. Intraoperative electrocorticography is recorded over the hippocampus and amygdala. After the extent of the epileptic area is determined, multiple transections of the pyramidal layer under the alveus is performed using specially designed ring transectors. After this procedure, epileptic discharges from the hippocampus can be completely abolished. Of 21 cases undergoing this operation, 12 left-sided and nine right-sided, 17 were followed up for more than one year. Fourteen (82%) are seizure free, two (12%) have rare seizures, and one (6%) has significantly improved. Of eight patients who underwent a battery of neuropsychometric tests both before and after left hippocampal transection, postoperative verbal memory was completely preserved in seven cases, and one transiently worsened patient recovered within 6 months. However, these results are still preliminary as the number of patients is small and the follow-up time short. The accumulation of cases and follow-up of greater duration will be necessary to precisely confirm the efficacy of this new technique. ary to precisely confirm the efficacy of this new technique.
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