Frameless stereotactic placement of foramen ovale electrodes in patients with drug-refractory temporal lobe epilepsy.Neurosurgery 2008; 62(5 Suppl 2):ONS481-8; discussion ONS488-9N
Semi-invasive foramen ovale electrodes (FOEs) are used as an alternative to invasive recording techniques in the presurgical evaluation of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. To maximize patient safety and interventional success, frameless stereotactic FOE placement by use of a variation of an upper jaw fixation device with an external fiducial frame, in combination with an aiming device and standard navigation software, was evaluated by the Innsbruck Epilepsy Surgery Program.
Patients were immobilized noninvasively with the Vogele-Bale-Hohner headholder (Medical Intelligence GmbH, Schwabmünchen, Germany) to plan computed tomography and surgery. Frameless stereotactic cannulation of the foramen and intracranial electrode placement were achieved with the help of an aiming device mounted to the base plate of the headholder. Ease of applicability, safety, and results obtained with foramen ovale recording were investigated.
Twenty-six FOEs were placed in 13 patients under general anesthesia. The foramen ovale was successfully cannulated in all patients. One patient reported transient painful mastication after the procedure as a complication attributable to use of the Vogele-Bale-Hohner mouthpiece. In one patient, a persistent slight buccal hypesthesia was present 3 months after the procedure. To pass the foramen, slight adjustments in the needle position had to be made in 10 sides (38.4%). To place the intracranial electrodes, adjustments were necessary six times (23.7%). An entirely new path had to be planned once (3.8%). Seizure recording provided conclusive information in all patients (100%). Outcome in operated patients was Engel Class Ia in six patients, Class IId in one patient, Class IIb in one patient, and Class IVa in one patient (minimum follow-up, 6 mo).
The Vogele-Bale-Hohner headholder combined with an external registration frame eliminates the need for invasive head clamp fixation. FOE placement can be planned "offline" and performed under general anesthesia later. This can be valuable in patients with distorted anatomy and/or small foramina or in patients not able to undergo the procedure under sedation. Results are satisfactory with regard to patient safety, patient comfort, predictability, and reproducibility. FOEs supported further treatment decisions in all patients.