Significance of the electrophysiological border between hypothalamic hamartomas and the hypothalamus for the target of ablation surgery identified by intraoperative semimicrorecording




Ablation surgery has become the first line of treatment for hypothalamic hamartomas (HHs). For effective treatment, optimum targeting of ablation is mandatory. The present study aimed to evaluate the correspondence between the electrophysiological features of HHs and morphological targeting by semimicrorecording during stereotactic radiofrequency thermocoagulation (SRT).


Eighty HH patients who underwent SRT were involved. Semimicrorecording was performed on the first trajectory. The distance from the center of the target at the morphological border (TMB) determined by magnetic resonance imaging, differences in discharge patterns, and area potentials (APs) were measured.


The electrophysiological border (EB) between the HH and hypothalamus was detected by semimicrorecording in 73 (91.3%), AP increase (API) in the HH was detected in 31 (38.8%), and spike discharges (SDs) of the HH were detected in 56 patients (70.0%). Semimicrorecording showed significantly different APs among structures passing through the trajectory, except between API and SDs. The median distances from the center of the TMB to the EB, API, SDs, and AP decline were −3.50, −2.49, −1.38, and +2.00 mm, respectively.


The electrophysiological features of HHs were shown by semimicrorecording during SRT. The EB corresponded to the morphological border. The electrophysiologically active area of HHs was located near the border. Ablation surgery should focus on disconnection at the border between the HH and the hypothalamus to maximize its effectiveness, as well as to reduce complications.


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