Hypothalamic hamartoma treatment: surgical resection with the transcallosal approach

Semin Pediatr Neurol. 2007 Jun;14(2):88-98. doi: 10.1016/j.spen.2007.03.007.


Multiple treatment options are available for patients with hypothalamic hamartoma (HH) including the frontotemporal approaches, the anterior transcallosal transseptal interforniceal approach, the transventricular endoscopic approach, and stereotactic radiosurgery. Relatively large patient series of the transcallosal resection/disconnection from Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne and the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, AZ, show, respectively, that 52% to 54% are 100% seizure free, and 24% to 35% have >90% seizure reduction. However, there appears to be an 8% to 14% risk of persisting memory problems. The surgery should ideally be performed in the early years of childhood before secondary generalized epilepsy develops and developmental delay and behavioral problems are established. Radiosurgery may be a preferable option for higher-functioning adolescent or adult patients with HH. The choice of treatment must be individualized depending on the age and clinical circumstances of the patient and the size and anatomic relationships of the hamartoma. The transcallosal resection of HH is an effective and safe treatment, but there is a small risk of short-term memory impairment. The endoscopic approach is an alternative to the transcallosal approach for smaller HH.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hamartoma / complications
  • Hamartoma / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamic Diseases / complications
  • Hypothalamic Diseases / surgery*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods*
  • Radiosurgery / methods*
  • Stereotaxic Techniques
  • Treatment Outcome