Objective: To describe a patient with intractable seizures and hypothalamic hamartoma that was only partially resected with complete control of seizures and improvement in behavior after surgery.
Clinical case: He had gelastic seizures from the first months of life associated with hypothalamic hamartoma. We used magnetic resonance spectroscopy to localize and measure the lesion in the temporal lobes and in the hamartoma. The relative intensity of N-acetylaspartate to creatine (NAA/Cr) and NAA/choline (Ch) were not significantly different from normal control subjects for either temporal lobes, whereas the ratio NAA/Ch was decreased and the ratio NAA/Cr was highly increased in the hamartoma. Despite only partial resection of the hamartoma, seizures have been completely controlled and the patient has recovered normal social and work activity and is ending a normal life, that follow three years after surgery.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that gelastic seizures associated with hypothalamic hamartoma are generated within the hamartoma itself, and that it is possible to control epilepsy and to improve intellectual and social problems with only partial resection of the mass.