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Neurologia medico-chirurgica
Vol. 52 (2012) No. 12 p. 892-898



Original Articles

Gamma knife radiosurgery (GKRS) for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) has been proposed as an alternative to surgical resection. We report serious adverse effects of the treatment after follow-up periods over 9 years in 11 patients treated with GKRS between 1997 and 2000. The target volume of the entorhinoamygdalohippocampectomy area was 4.8-17.1 ml. Marginal dose of 20-25 Gy to the 50% isodose was delivered. One patient was drowned after suffering seizure 7 months after GKRS. Two patients did not show any reduction in seizure frequency over 9 and 18 months. Both patients requested open surgery and became seizure-free postoperatively. Four of the other eight patients were classified as Engel's class I within 4 years after GKRS. One of the four patients experienced symptomatic radiation-induced cerebral edema transiently, one developed radiation necrosis and required surgery 5 years after GKRS, and one developed cognitive impairment with hemiparesis 10 years after GKRS. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging showed a large cyst in the irradiated temporal lobe. This patient recovered fully after the cyst excision. Only one patient became seizure-free and antiepileptic drug-free without symptomatic radiation-induced complications. However, MR imaging revealed abnormal enhancement, cyst formation, and diffuse white matter change in the irradiated temporal lobe 9 years after GKRS. GKRS for MTLE causes adverse effects of delayed seizure remission and symptomatic radiation-induced complications. Therefore, GKRS cannot be considered as an ideal alternative to surgery for MTLE. Long-term follow-up studies including MR imaging with contrast medium are required for the patients even after successful control of seizures.

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