Stereotactic laser ablation for completion corpus callosotomy

J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2019 Aug 2;1-9. doi: 10.3171/2019.5.PEDS19117. Online ahead of print.


Objective: Completion corpus callosotomy can offer further remission from disabling seizures when a prior partial corpus callosotomy has failed and residual callosal tissue is identified on imaging. Traditional microsurgical approaches to section residual fibers carry risks associated with multiple craniotomies and the proximity to the medially oriented motor cortices. Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) represents a minimally invasive approach for the ablation of residual fibers following a prior partial corpus callosotomy. Here, the authors report clinical outcomes of 6 patients undergoing LITT for completion corpus callosotomy and characterize the radiological effects of ablation.

Methods: A retrospective clinical review was performed on a series of 6 patients who underwent LITT completion corpus callosotomy for medically intractable epilepsy at Stanford University Medical Center and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford between January 2015 and January 2018. Detailed structural and diffusion-weighted MR images were obtained prior to and at multiple time points after LITT. In 4 patients who underwent diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), streamline tractography was used to reconstruct and evaluate tract projections crossing the anterior (genu and rostrum) and posterior (splenium) parts of the corpus callosum. Multiple diffusion parameters were evaluated at baseline and at each follow-up.

Results: Three pediatric (age 8-18 years) and 3 adult patients (age 30-40 years) who underwent completion corpus callosotomy by LITT were identified. Mean length of follow-up postoperatively was 21.2 (range 12-34) months. Two patients had residual splenium, rostrum, and genu of the corpus callosum, while 4 patients had residual splenium only. Postoperative complications included asymptomatic extension of ablation into the left thalamus and transient disconnection syndrome. Ablation of the targeted area was confirmed on immediate postoperative diffusion-weighted MRI in all patients. Engel class I-II outcomes were achieved in 3 adult patients, whereas all 3 pediatric patients had Engel class III-IV outcomes. Tractography in 2 adult and 2 pediatric patients revealed time-dependent reduction of fractional anisotropy after LITT.

Conclusions: LITT is a safe, minimally invasive approach for completion corpus callosotomy. Engel outcomes for completion corpus callosotomy by LITT were similar to reported outcomes of open completion callosotomy, with seizure reduction primarily observed in adult patients. Serial DTI can be used to assess the presence of tract projections over time but does not classify treatment responders or nonresponders.

Keywords: AD = axial diffusivity; ADC = apparent diffusion coefficient; AED = antiepileptic drug; AFQ = Automated Fiber Quantitation; DTI = diffusion tensor imaging; FA = fractional anisotropy; LGS = Lennox-Gastaut syndrome; LITT = laser interstitial thermal therapy; MD = mean diffusivity; RD = radial diffusivity; ROI = region of interest; VNS = vagal nerve stimulator; completion corpus callosotomy; dMRI = diffusion MRI; diffusion tensor imaging; epilepsy; laser interstitial thermal therapy.