Scientific article

What to do in failed hemispherotomy? Our clinical series and review of the literature

Published inNeurosurgical Review, vol. 41, no. 1, p. 125-132
Publication date2018

Hemispherotomy is an established surgical technique to cure or palliate selected, mostly young patients suffering from refractory epilepsy. However, a few patients continue to have seizures despite the surgical hemispherical disconnection. We present a case series of patients who underwent redo hemispherotomy after a first unsuccessful hemispherical disconnection and provide a roadmap for subsequent workup and treatment. The institutional database of epilepsy surgery was reviewed. Twenty-four patients who underwent hemispherotomies for refractory epilepsy were identified between 2007 and 2016. Patients' notes were checked for demographics, history, clinical presentation, preoperative workup, medical treatment, age at first hemispherotomy, and surgical technique. Complications, histopathology, postoperative antiepileptic drug, and postoperative neurological follow-up were documented. Engel class was used to determine the outcome after surgery. Three patients (one hemimegalencephaly, one perinatal stroke, and one Rasmussen's disease) underwent redo hemispherotomy after electroencephalography and MRI studies with particular importance given to diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to demonstrate residual connection between hemispheres. In one case, redo disconnection followed by a frontal lobectomy rendered the patient seizure-free (Engel class I). In one case, the seizure frequency remained the same but generalized seizures disappeared (Engel class III), and in one case, seizure frequency was considerably reduced after the redo disconnection (Engel class II), with a minimum follow-up of 2 years. Surgical aspects, possible reasons of failure of first hemispherotomy, and rationale that led to second-look surgery are presented. Reasons for failure can be related to patient's selection and/or surgical aspects. Hemispherotomy is a technically demanding procedure and requires accurate preoperative workup. Redo hemispherotomy is a valid option on the basis of further epileptological and radiological workup to demonstrate residual interhemispheric connections and/or rule out bi-hemispheric epileptic activity.

  • Epilepsy
  • Hemispherotomy
  • Surgery
Citation (ISO format)
BARTOLI, Andréa et al. What to do in failed hemispherotomy? Our clinical series and review of the literature. In: Neurosurgical Review, 2018, vol. 41, n° 1, p. 125–132. doi: 10.1007/s10143-017-0888-y
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0344-5607

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