Clinical outcomes of MR-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy corpus callosum ablation in drug-resistant epilepsy: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Jasmine L. Hect, Emily Harford, Seyed Farzad Maroufi, Mary Lou Klem, Alireza Mansouri, Taylor J. Abel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE The goal of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to provide an updated analysis of studies investigating outcomes, morbidity, and mortality associated with MR-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (MRgLITT) corpus callosum ablation (CCA). METHODS Study inclusion criteria for screening required that studies report on human subjects only, including patients aged 1–52 years diagnosed with drug-resistant epilepsy who underwent CCA. Sixteen articles published between 2016 and 2023 were included for the systematic review and analysis, including 4 case reports, 11 case series, and 1 case-control study. Altogether, 85 pediatric and adult patients undergoing CCA were included in the systematic review (46 patients younger and 39 patients older than 21 years). The main outcome of seizure freedom was measured using the decrease in the frequency of atonic seizures following surgery, percentage of atonic seizure freedom following surgery, and percentage of overall seizure freedom following surgery. These measurements were made using data from the last follow-up for patients with at least 6 months of follow-up post-CCA. RESULTS The extent of CCA differed across the pooled cohorts, including anterior two-thirds CCA (38.89%, n = 35) and posterior one-third CCA for completion of a prior partial CCA (22.22%, n = 20), complete CCA (27.78%, n = 25), or CCA of residual white matter in the case of subtotal initial ablation (5.56%, n = 5). Overall, 12.94% of the patients undergoing CCA experienced operational complications. The most common operative complications across 90 CCA operations were probe malpositioning (n = 6), hemorrhage (n = 5), off-target extension of splenium ablation to the thalamus (n = 1), infection (n = 1), and postoperative CSF leak (n = 1). Neurological deficits following CCA were reported as transient in 18.82% and permanent in 4.71% of patients across all studies. The most common neurological deficits were disconnection syndrome (n = 4) or transient hemiplegia (supplementary motor area–like syndrome; n = 4). The 6-month overall seizure freedom rate was 18.87% of 53 patients, and the atonic seizure freedom rate was 46.28% of 52 patients postoperatively. CCA resulted in an average decrease in atonic seizure rate from 8.30 to 1.65 atonic seizures per day (average decrease 80.12%). CONCLUSIONS CCA is associated with an acceptable complication profile, and most patients experience a meaningful reduction in target seizure semiologies. Accurate MRgLITT probe placement is likely important for maximizing CCA while avoiding collateral damage. Avoidable complications of CCA include off-target ablation (and associated deficits), hemorrhage, and future surgery for residual CCA to palliate continued seizures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-21
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology

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