Resecting critical nodes from an epileptogenic circuit in refractory focal-onset epilepsy patients using subtraction ictal SPECT coregistered to MRI

J Neurosurg. 2016 Dec;125(6):1565-1576. doi: 10.3171/2015.6.JNS141719. Epub 2016 Mar 18.


OBJECTIVE The purpose of this study was to assess the positive predictive value of postresection outcomes obtained by presurgical subtracted ictal SPECT in patients with lesional (MRI positive) and nonlesional (MRI negative) refractory extratemporal lobe epilepsy (ETLE) and temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Specifically, outcomes were compared between partial versus complete resection of the regions of transient hyperperfusion identified using subtraction ictal SPECT coregistered to MRI (SISCOM) in relation to the ictal onset zone (IOZ) that was confirmed by electrocorticography (ECoG). That is, SISCOM was used to understand the long-term postsurgical outcomes following resection of the IOZ that overlapped with 1 or more regions of ictal onset-associated transient hyperperfusion. METHODS The study cohort included 44 consecutive patients with refractory ETLE or TLE who were treated between 2002 and 2013 and underwent presurgical evaluation using SISCOM. Concordance was determined between SISCOM localization and the IOZ on the basis of ECoG monitoring. In addition, the association between the extent of the resection site overlapping with the SISCOM signal and postresection outcomes were assessed. Postsurgical follow-up was longer than 24 months in 39 of 44 patients. RESULTS The dominant SISCOM signals were concordant with ECoG and overlapped the resection site in 32 of 44 (73%) patients (19 ETLE and 13 TLE patients), and 20 of 32 (63%) patients became seizure free. In all 19 ETLE patients with concordant SISCOM and ECoG results, the indicated location of ictal onset on ECoG was completely resected; 11 of 19 patients (58%) became seizure free (Engel Class I). In all 13 TLE patients with concordant SISCOM and ECoG results, the indicated ECoG focus was completely resected; 9 of 13 patients (69%) became seizure free (Engel Class I). Complete resection of the SISCOM signal was found in 7 of 34 patients (21%). Of these 7 patients, 5 patients (72%) were seizure free (Engel Class I). Partial resection of the SISCOM signal was found in 16 of 34 patients (47%), and 10 of these 16 patients (63%) were seizure free (Engel Class I) after more than 24 months of follow-up. CONCLUSIONS Concordance between 1 or more SISCOM regions of hyperperfusion with ECoG and at least partial resection of the dominant SISCOM signal in this refractory epilepsy cohort provided additional useful information for predicting long-term postresection outcomes. Such regions are likely critical nodes in more extensive, active, epileptogenic circuits. In addition, SPECT scanner technology may limit the sensitivity of meaningful SISCOM signals for identifying the maximal extent of the localizable epileptogenic network.

Keywords: AED = antiepileptic drug; ECoG = chronic electrocorticography; EEG = electroencephalography; ETLE = extratemporal epilepsy; IOZ = ictal onset zone; SISCOM = subtraction ictal SPECT coregistered to MRI; SPGR = spoiled gradient recalled; TLE = temporal lobe epilepsy; aECoG = acute electrocorticography; electrocorticography; epileptogenic network; extratemporal epilepsy; ictal onset zone; magnetic resonance imaging; subtraction ictal SPECT coregistered to MRI; temporal lobe epilepsy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy / diagnostic imaging*
  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy / surgery*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / diagnostic imaging*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Preoperative Care
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon*
  • Young Adult