Trans-falcine and contralateral sub-frontal electrode placement in pediatric epilepsy surgery: technical note

Academic Article


  • © 2017, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Introduction: Phase II monitoring with intracranial electroencephalography (ICEEG) occasionally requires bilateral placement of subdural (SD) strips, grids, and/or depth electrodes. While phase I monitoring often demonstrates a preponderance of unilateral findings, individual studies (video EEG, single photon emission computed tomography [SPECT], and positron emission tomography [PET]) can suggest or fail to exclude a contralateral epileptogenic onset zone. This study describes previously unreported techniques of trans-falcine and sub-frontal insertion of contralateral SD grids and depth electrodes for phase II monitoring in pediatric epilepsy surgery patients when concern about bilateral abnormalities has been elicited during phase I monitoring. Methods: Pediatric patients with medically refractory epilepsy undergoing stage I surgery for phase II monitoring involving sub-frontal and/or trans-falcine insertion of SD grids and/or depth electrodes at the senior author’s institution were retrospectively reviewed. Intra-operative technical details of sub-frontal and trans-falcine approaches were studied, while intra-operative complications or events were noted. Operative techniques included gentle subfrontal retraction and elevation of the olfactory tracts (while preserving the relationship between the olfactory bulb and cribriform plate) to insert SD grids across the midline for coverage of the contralateral orbito-frontal regions. Trans-falcine approaches involved accessing the inter-hemispheric space, bipolar cauterization of the anterior falx cerebri below the superior sagittal sinus, and sharp dissection using a blunt elevator and small blade scalpel. The falcine window allowed contralateral SD strip, grid, and depth electrodes to be inserted for coverage of the contralateral frontal regions. Results: The study cohort included seven patients undergoing sub-frontal and/or trans-falcine insertion of contralateral SD strip, grid, and/or depth electrodes from February 2012 through June 2015. Five patients (71%) experienced no intra-operative events related to contralateral ICEEG electrode insertion. Intra-operative events of frontal territory venous engorgement (1/7, 14%) due to sacrifice of anterior bridging veins draining into the SSS and avulsion of a contralateral bridging vein (1/7, 14%), probably due to prior anterior corpus callosotomy, each occurred in one patient. There were no intra-operative or peri-operative complications in any of the patients studied. Two patients required additional surgery for supplemental SD strip and/or depth electrodes via burr hole craniectomy to enhance phase II monitoring. All patients proceeded to stage II surgery for resection of ipsilateral epileptogenic onset zones without adverse events. Conclusions: Trans-falcine and sub-frontal insertion of contralateral SD strip, grid, and depth electrodes are previously unreported techniques for achieving bilateral frontal coverage in phase II monitoring in pediatric epilepsy surgery. This technique obviates the need for contralateral craniotomy and parenchymal exposure with limited, remediable risks. Larger case series using the method described herein are now necessary.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 12147534
  • Author List

  • Pindrik J; Hoang N; Tubbs RS; Rocque BJ; Rozzelle CJ
  • Start Page

  • 1379
  • End Page

  • 1388
  • Volume

  • 33
  • Issue

  • 8