Journal of Neurosurgery, Ahead of Print.
OBJECTIVEA convergence of clinical research suggests that the temporal pole (TP) plays an important and potentially underappreciated role in the genesis and propagation of seizures in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Understanding its role is becoming increasingly important because selective resections for medically intractable TLE spare temporopolar cortex (TPC). The purpose of this study was to characterize the role of the TPC in TLE after using dense electrocorticography (ECoG) recordings in patients undergoing invasive monitoring for medically intractable TLE.METHODSChronic ECoG recordings were obtained in 10 consecutive patients by using an array customized to provide dense coverage of the TP as part of invasive monitoring to localize the epileptogenic zone. All patients would eventually undergo cortico-amygdalohippocampectomy. A retrospective review of the patient clinical records including ECoG recordings, neuroimaging studies, neuropathology reports, and clinical outcomes was performed.RESULTSIn 7 patients (70%), the TP was involved at seizure onset; in 7 patients (70%), there were interictal discharges from the TP; and in 1 case, there was early spread to the TP. Seizure onset in the TP did not necessarily correlate with preoperative neuroimaging abnormalities of the TP.CONCLUSIONSThese data demonstrate that TPC commonly plays a crucial role in temporal lobe seizure networks. Seizure onset from the TP would not have been predicted based on available neuroimaging data or interictal discharges. These findings illustrate the importance of thoroughly considering the role of the TP prior to resective surgery for TLE, particularly when selective mesial resection is being considered.