Author(s): Cmelak AJ, AbouKhalil B, Konrad PE, Duggan D, Maciunas RJ
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Abstract The successful surgical treatment of medically refractory epilepsy is based on one of three different principles: (1) elimination of the epileptic focus, (2) interruption of the pathways of neural propagation, and (3) increasing the seizure threshold through cerebral lesions or electrical stimulation. Temporal lobe epilepsy, being the most common focal epilepsy, may ultimately require temporal lobectomy. This is a case report of a 36-year-old male with drug-resistant right mesial temporal lobe epilepsy who failed to obtain seizure control after stereotactic radiosurgery to the seizure focus. Complex-partial seizures occurred 6-7 times monthly, and consisted of a loss of awareness followed by involuntary movements of the right arm. EEG/CC TV monitoring indicated a right mesial temporal lobe focus, which was corroborated by decreased uptake in the right temporal lobe by FDG-PET and by MRI findings of right hippocampal sclerosis. Stereotactic radiosurgery was performed with a 4MV linac, utilizing three isocenters with collimator sizes of 10, 10, and 7 mm respectively. A dose of 1500 cGy (max dose 2535 cGy) was delivered in a single fraction to the patient's right amygdala and hippocampus. There were no acute complications. Following radiosurgery the patient's seizures were improved in both frequency and intensity for approximately 3 months. Antiepileptic medications were continued. Thereafter, seizures increased in both frequency and intensity, occurring 10-20 times monthly. At 1 year post radiosurgery, standard right temporal lobectomy including amygdalohippocampectomy was performed with subsequent resolution of complex-partial seizures. Histopathology of the resected temporal lobe revealed hippocampal cell loss and fibrillary astrocytosis, consistent with hippocampal sclerosis. No radiation-induced histopathologic changes were seen. We conclude that low-dose radiosurgery doses temporarily changed the intensity and character of seizure activity, but actually increased seizure activity long-term. If radiosurgery is to be an effective alternative to temporal lobectomy for medically intractable temporal lobe epilepsy, higher radiosurgery doses will be required. The toxicity and efficacy of higher-dose radiosurgery is currently under investigation. Copyright 2001 BEA Trading Ltd.
This article was published in Seizure
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation