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Surgical outcomes between temporal, extratemporal epilepsies and hypothalamic hamartoma: systematic review and meta-analysis of MRI-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy for drug-resistant epilepsy


Background Approximately 1/3 of patients with epilepsy have drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) and require surgical interventions. This meta-analysis aimed to review the effectiveness of MRI-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (MRgLITT) in DRE.

Methods The Population, Intervention, Comparator and Outcome approach and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses were followed. PubMed, MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were systematically searched for English language publications from 2012 to Nov 2020. Data on the prevalence outcome using the Engel Epilepsy Surgery Outcome Scale (Class I–IV), and postoperative complications were analysed with 95% CIs.

Results Twenty-eight studies that included a total of 559 patients with DRE were identified. The overall prevalence of Engel class I outcome was 56% (95% CI 0.52% to 0.60%). Hypothalamic hamartomas (HH) patients had the highest seizure freedom rate of 67% (95% CI 0.57% to 0.76%) and outcome was overall comparable between mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) (56%, 95% CI 0.50% to 0.61%) and extratemporal epilepsy (50% 95% CI 0.40% to 0.59%). The mTLE cases with mesial temporal sclerosis had better outcome vs non-lesional cases of mTLE. The prevalence of postoperative adverse events was 19% (95% CI 0.14% to 0.25%) and the most common adverse event was visual field deficits. The reoperation rate was 9% (95% CI 0.05% to 0.14%), which included repeat ablation and open resection.

Conclusion MRgLITT is an effective and safe intervention for DRE with different disease aetiologies. The seizure freedom outcome is overall comparable in between extratemporal and temporal lobe epilepsy; and highest with HH.

Trail registration number The study protocol was registered with the National Institute for Health Research (CRD42019126365), which serves as a prospective register of systematic reviews. It is an international database of prospectively registered systematic reviews with a focus on health-related outcomes. Details about the protocol can be found at https://wwwcrdyorkacuk/PROSPERO/.

Data availability statement

Data sharing not applicable as no datasets generated and/or analysed for this study. Not applicable. No specific data generated beyond publically available studies.

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