Clinical spectrum and difficulties in management of hypothalamic hamartoma in a developing country

Acta Neurol Scand. 2008 Nov;118(5):313-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2008.01016.x. Epub 2008 May 7.


Aim: We describe the clinical features, treatment and prognosis in a series of patients with epilepsy secondary to hypothalamic hamarthomas (HH) in a developing country.

Materials and methods: Eight patients with epilepsy and HH were included between 1997 and 2006. We analyzed gender, age, age at seizure onset (ASO), seizure types (ST), mental retardation (MR), precocious puberty (PP), electroencephalogram (EEG)-magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features and response to treatment.

Results: Mean age 25.1 years, 2/6 female/male, none had PP, ASO 4.5 years. Complex partial seizure were the most frequent (100%), mean similar to those seen in temporal (62.5%) or frontal lobe epilepsy (37.5%). Exactly 87.5% developed gelastic seizures (GS). Half of the patients showed MR. Mild-to-severe MR was associated with the presence of multiple ST including atonic and complex partial seizures with frontal semiology. Interictal EEG was abnormal in 87.5% patients. Video EEG was performed in three cases with unspecific findings. HH were small and sessile in seven patients whereas large and pedunculated in one. All patients were refractory to medical treatment. In five, an additional procedure was performed without any significant improvement.

Conclusion: These series show the heterogeneous spectrum of this entity and the difficulties in its treatment in a developing country.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Argentina
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Developing Countries
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy, Complex Partial / epidemiology
  • Epilepsy, Complex Partial / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Hamartoma / complications
  • Hamartoma / diagnosis*
  • Hamartoma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamic Diseases / complications
  • Hypothalamic Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Hypothalamic Diseases / therapy*
  • Hypothalamus / pathology
  • Hypothalamus / physiopathology
  • Hypothalamus / surgery
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neurology / methods
  • Neurosurgery / methods
  • Neurosurgical Procedures
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult