Electrocorticography-guided resection of temporal cavernoma: Is electrocorticography warranted and does it alter the surgical approach? Clinical article

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Object. Cavernous hemangiomas associated with epilepsy present an interesting surgical dilemma in terms of whether one should perform a pure lesionectomy or tailored resection, especially in the temporal lobe given the potential for cognitive damage. This decision is often guided by electrocorticography (ECoG), despite the lack of data regarding its value in cavernoma surgery. The purpose of the present study was several-fold: first, to determine the epilepsy outcome following resection of cavernomas in all brain regions; second, to evaluate the usefulness of ECoG in guiding surgical decision making; and third, to determine the optimum surgical approach for temporal lobe cavernomas. Methods. The authors identified from their surgical database 173 patients who had undergone resection of cavernomas. One hundred two of these patients presented with epilepsy, and 61 harbored temporal lobe cavernomas. Preoperatively, all patients were initially evaluated by an epileptologist. The mean follow-up was 37 months. Results. Regardless of the cavernoma location, surgery resulted in an excellent seizure control rate: Engel Class I outcome in 88% of patients at 2 years postoperatively. Of 61 patients with temporal lobe cavernomas, the mesial structures were involved in 35. Among the patients with temporal lobe cavernomas, those who underwent ECoG typically had a more extensive parenchymal resection rather than a lesionectomy (p < 0.0001). The use of ECoG in cases of temporal lobe cavernomas resulted in a superior seizure-free outcome: 79% (29 patients) versus 91% (23 patients) of patients at 6 months postresection, 77% (22 patients) versus 90% (20 patients) at 1 year, and 79% (14 patients) versus 83% (18 patients) at 2 years without ECoG versus with ECoG, respectively. Conclusions. The surgical removal of cavernomas most often leads to an excellent epilepsy outcome. In cases of temporal lobe cavernomas, the more extensive the ECoG-guided resection, the better the seizure outcome. In addition to upholding the concept of kindling, the data in this study support the use of ECoG in temporal lobe cavernoma surgery in patients presenting with epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1179-1185
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Cavernoma
  • Electrocorticography
  • Epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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