Periventricular nodular heterotopia and intractable temporal lobe epilepsy: poor outcome after temporal lobe resection

Ann Neurol. 1997 May;41(5):662-8. doi: 10.1002/ana.410410516.


We describe 5 women and 5 men with periventricular nodular heterotopia and electroclinical features suggestive of temporal lobe epilepsy, who were surgically treated for control of medically refractory seizures. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed bilateral periventricular nodular heterotopia in 7 of the 10 patients. Because of the lack of clear localization, 6 patients were studied with intracranial depth electrode recordings. Seizures were of hippocampal onset (3 patients), regional temporal lobe onset (2 patients), or occipital-temporal onset (1 patient). Anterior temporal lobectomy was performed in 6 patients; selective amygdalohippocampectomy, in 1; and anterior temporal lobectomy plus resection of the heterotopic tissue, in 3. None of the 9 patients followed for more than 12 months postoperatively were seizure free. Two patients were initially seizure free for approximately 18 months, but then seizures recurred. One patient had a major reduction in seizure frequency at a 39-month follow-up after most of the unilateral heterotopic tissue was included in the temporal resection. Temporal resection did not lead to a long-term favorable outcome in this group of patients with periventricular nodular heterotopia and epileptogenic discharges involving the temporal lobe. This suggests a more widespread disorder with epileptogenic activity possibly originating in or near the heterotopic tissue. The clinical and electrographic features of periventricular nodular heterotopia pointing to temporal lobe origin are misleading and temporal resection does not result in long-term cessation of seizures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amygdala / surgery
  • Brain Diseases / pathology
  • Brain Diseases / surgery*
  • Choristoma / pathology
  • Choristoma / surgery*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gliosis
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Hippocampus / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Temporal Lobe*
  • Treatment Outcome