Peri-Insular Hemispherotomy: A Systematic Review and Institutional Experience

Pediatr Neurosurg. 2023;58(1):18-28. doi: 10.1159/000529098. Epub 2023 Jan 13.


Introduction: Peri-insular hemispherotomy (PIH) is a hemispheric separation technique under the broader hemispherotomy group, a surgical treatment for patients with intractable epilepsy. Hemispherotomy techniques such as the PIH, vertical parasagittal hemispherotomy (VPH), and modified-lateral hemispherotomy are commonly assessed together, despite significant differences in anatomical approach and patient selection. We aim to describe patient selection, outcomes, and complications of PIH in its own right.

Methods: A systematic review of the literature, in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, was conducted, with searches of the PubMed and Embase databases. A local series including patients receiving PIH and followed up at the Queensland Children's Hospital between 2014 and 2020 was included.

Results: Systematic review of the literature identified 393 patients from 13 eligible studies. Engel class 1 outcomes occurred in 82.4% of patients, while 8.6% developed post-operative hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus was most common in the youngest patient cohorts. Developmental pathology was present in 114 (40.8%) patients, who had fewer Engel 1 outcomes compared to those with acquired pathology (69.1% vs. 83.7%, p = 0.0167). The local series included 13 patients, 11/13 (84.6%) had Engel class 1 seizure outcomes. Post-operative hydrocephalus occurred in 2 patients (15.4%), and 10/13 (76.9%) patients had worsened neurological deficit.

Conclusion: PIH delivers Engel 1 outcomes for over 4 in 5 patients selected for this procedure, greater than described in combined hemispherectomy analyses. It is an effective technique in patients with developmental and acquired pathologies, despite general preference of VPH in this patient group. Finally, very young patients may have significant seizure and cognitive benefits from PIH; however, hydrocephalus is most common in this group warranting careful risk-benefit assessment. This review delivers a dedicated PIH outcomes analysis to inform clinical and patient decision-making.

Keywords: Epilepsy; Paediatric patient; Peri-insular hemispherotomy.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy* / surgery
  • Hemispherectomy* / adverse effects
  • Hemispherectomy* / methods
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus* / complications
  • Hydrocephalus* / surgery
  • Seizures / complications
  • Treatment Outcome

Grants and funding

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.