Long-term outcome after emergency resection of hypothalamic hamartomas for status gelasticus

Academic Article


  • Object: Gelastic seizures are epileptic events characterized by bouts of laughter. They are rare and mostly associated with hypothalamic hamartomas (HHs). Status gelasticus, a rare form of status epilepticus, is defined as a prolonged cluster of gelastic seizures (> 20-30 minutes) without necessarily involving loss of awareness between seizures. Emergency resection of the hamartoma is highly effective in these situations and should be considered as early as possible. The authors retrospectively reviewed their surgical cases to document the success, complications, and long-term follow-up after emergency resection of HHs for status gelasticus. Methods: The authors report on a retrospective case series from a single tertiary care center. Three patients who presented with status gelasticus underwent emergency resection of HHs. Demographic details, seizure history, medical treatment, and postoperative follow-up data were evaluated. Long-term follow-up (minimum 2 years) data were obtained either from the last clinic visit notes or via telephone and e-mail contacts. The institutional review board at St. Joseph's Hospital approved this study. Results: In the last 7 years, of 157 patients who underwent HH resection, the resection was performed on an emergency basis for status gelasticus in 3 cases. At emergency surgery, these 3 patients ranged in age from 9 months to 3.5 years. All of the patients were boys. Delalande and Fohlen Type II, III, and IV lesions were present in the 3 patients. Surgical approaches for resection of HH included an orbitozygomatic, transcallosal anterior interforniceal approach and endoscopic resection. Status gelasticus was terminated following emergency surgery in all cases, and 1 patient was seizure free. Postsurgical complications included, in 1 case, a small right thalamic infarct with mild transient left hemiparesis, which completely resolved within 2 days. Within 2 years of their original surgery, 2 patients underwent further elective surgeries (endoscopic resection and radiosurgery for persistent symptomatic seizures). Follow-up since their most recent surgery ranged from 8 months to 2 years. Two patients were seizure free and 1 patient had greater than 50% reduction in seizures. Conclusions: Status gelasticus associated with HHs can be successfully terminated by emergency resection of the HH. Long-term follow-up in the present series suggests good seizure freedom results or at least greater than 50% reduction in seizures, although repeat operations were necessary.
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    Author List

  • Pati S; Rastogi RG; Abla AA; Rekate HL; Ng YT
  • Volume

  • 30
  • Issue

  • 2