[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the Netherlands, presurgical screening for temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) includes the intracarotid amobarbital procedure (IAP), consisting of two consecutive injections of amobarbital, ipsilateral and contralateral to the epileptic focus. We studied whether a bilateral IAP has added value to a unilateral, ipsilateral IAP.
This population-based study included 183 consecutive patients referred for screening for TLE surgery who underwent bilateral IAP. Using multivariable modeling, we assessed the added value of bilateral IAP on the decision for surgery, resection size, amygdalohippocampectomy, post-operative seizure freedom, memory performance, and IQ change.
Given the results from the unilateral IAP, the bilateral IAP had added prognostic value for postoperative change in verbal memory (P < 0.01) and verbal IQ (P < 0.01), especially if patients had a left-sided focus. In contrast, information provided by the contralateral IAP was not associated with decision-making or surgical strategy.
A bilateral IAP has added value in predicting post-operative verbal memory and IQ. A bilateral IAP is currently not used to guide surgical strategy, but may be used for this purpose when verbal capacity is of particular concern in patients with a left-sided focus. In other cases, IAP is best performed unilaterally.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We studied the extent to which the widely used diagnostic tests contribute to the decision whether or not to perform temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) surgery in The Netherlands.
This nation-wide, retrospective study included 201 consecutive patients referred for TLE surgery screening. The individual and combined contribution of nine index tests to the consensus decision to perform surgery was investigated. The contribution of each test was quantified using multivariable logistic regression and ROC curves.
Surgery was performed in 119 patients (59%). Patient history and routine EEG findings were hardly contributory to decision-making, whereas a convergence of MRI with long-term interictal and ictal EEG findings correctly identified the candidates considered eligible for surgery (25% of total). Videotaped seizure semiology contributed less to the results. The area under the ROC curve of the combination of basic tests was 0.75. Ineligibility was never accurately predicted with any test combination.
In the Dutch presurgical work-up, when MRI and long-term EEG findings were concordant, a decision for TLE surgery could be reached without further ancillary tests. Videotaped seizure semiology contributed less than expected to the final clinical decision. In our study, basic test findings alone were insufficient to exclude patients from surgery.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although several independent predictors of seizure freedom after temporal lobe epilepsy surgery have been identified, their combined predictive value is largely unknown. Using a large database of operated patients, we assessed the combined predictive value of previously reported predictors included in a single multivariable model.
The database comprised a cohort of 484 patients who underwent temporal lobe surgery for drug-resistant epilepsy. Good outcome was defined as Engel class 1, one year after surgery. Previously reported independent predictors were tested in this cohort. To be included in our final prediction model, predictors had to show a multivariable p-value of <0.20.
The final multivariable model included predictors obtained from the patient's history (absence of tonic-clonic seizures, absence of status epilepticus), magnetic resonance imaging [MRI; ipsilateral mesial temporal sclerosis (MTS), space occupying lesion], video electroencephalography (EEG; absence of ictal dystonic posturing, concordance between MRI and ictal EEG), and fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET; unilateral temporal abnormalities), that were related to seizure freedom in our data. The model showed an expected receiver-operating characteristic curve (ROC) area of 0.63 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.57-0.68] for new patient populations. Intracranial monitoring and surgery-related parameters (including histology) were not important predictors of seizure freedom. Among patients with a high probability of seizure freedom, 85% were seizure-free one year after surgery; however, among patients with a high risk of not becoming seizure-free, still 40% were seizure-free one year after surgery.
We could only moderately predict seizure freedom after temporal lobe epilepsy surgery. It is particularly difficult to predict who will not become seizure-free after surgery.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: [18F]-Fluoro-d-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) is an expensive, invasive, and not widely available technique used in the presurgical evaluation of temporal lobe epilepsy. We assessed its added value to the decision-making process in relation to other commonly used tests.
In a retrospective study of a large series of consecutive patients referred to the national Dutch epilepsy surgery program between 1996 and 2002, the contribution of FDG-PET, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and video-electroencephalogram (video-EEG) monitoring findings, alone or in combination, to the decision whether to perform surgery was investigated. The impact of FDG-PET was quantified by comparing documented decisions concerning surgery before and after FDG-PET results.
Of 469 included patients, 110 (23%) underwent FDG-PET. In 78 of these patients (71%), FDG-PET findings led clinicians to change the decision they had made based on MRI and video-EEG monitoring findings. In 17% of all referred patients, the decision regarding surgical candidacy was based on FDG-PET findings. FDG-PET was most useful when previous MRI results were normal (p < 0.0001) or did not show unilateral temporal abnormalities (p < 0.0001), or when ictal EEG results were not consistent with MRI findings (p < 0.0001) or videotaped seizure semiology (p = 0.027). The positive and negative predictive values for MRI and video-EEG monitoring, which ranged from 0.48 to 0.67, were improved to 0.62 to 0.86 in combination with FDG-PET.
In patients referred for TLE surgery, FDG-PET findings can form the basis for deciding whether a patient is eligible for surgery, and especially when MRI or video-EEG monitoring are nonlocalizing.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many patients thought to have temporal lobe epilepsy, are evaluated for surgical treatment. Decision-making in epilepsy surgery is a multidisciplinary, phased process involving complex diagnostic tests. This study reviews the literature on the value of different tests to decide on whether to operate.
Articles were selected when based on the consensus decision whether to perform temporal lobe surgery, or on the consensus localization or lateralization of the epileptic focus. The articles were scrutinized for sources of bias as formulated in methodological guidelines for diagnostic studies (STARD).
Most studies did not fulfill the criteria, largely because they addressed prognostic factors in operated patients only. Ten articles met our inclusion criteria. In most articles, a single test was studied; SPECT accounted for five papers. Unbiased comparison of the results was not possible.
Surprisingly little research in epilepsy surgery has focused on the decision-making process as a whole. Future studies of the added value of consecutive tests are needed to avoid redundant testing, enable future cost-efficiency analyses, and provide guidelines for diagnostic strategies after referral for temporal lobe epilepsy surgery.