Anterior temporal lobectomy complications
Even though the mortality after Anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) is minimal, the overall morbidity cannot be ignored. Psychiatric disturbances, visual field defects, and cognitive disorders are the most common postoperative complications, and should be considered during the preoperative planning and consultation 1).
Visual field defects
ATL is often complicated by quadrantanopia. In some cases this can be severe enough to prohibit driving, even if a patient is free of seizures. These deficits are caused by damage to Meyers loop of the optic radiation, which shows considerable heterogeneity in its anterior extent. This structure cannot be distinguished using clinical magnetic resonance imaging sequences.
van Lanen et al., developed a score method for the assessment of postoperative visual field defects after temporal lobe epilepsy surgery and assessed its feasibility for clinical use. A significant correlation between VFD and resection size for right-sided ATL was confirmed 4).
Cranial nerve (CN) deficits following anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) are an uncommon but well-recognized complication. The usual CNs implicated in post-ATL complications include the oculomotor nerve, trochlear nerve, and facial nerves.
Injury to the trigeminal nerve leading to neuropathic pain are described in 2 cases following temporal lobe resections for pharmacoresistant epilepsy. The possible pathophysiological mechanisms are discussed and the microsurgical anatomy of surgically relevant structures is reviewed. 5).
Dickerson et al., from the Department of Neurosurgery, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, USA report the third known case and first of diffuse vasospasm. A 48-year-old woman underwent a transcortical anterior left temporal lobectomy. Eleven days later, she had new-onset expressive aphasia with narrowing of the anterior, middle, and posterior cerebral arteries, and increased velocities via transcranial Doppler. She was treated with fluids, nimodipine, and permissive hypertension. At 6 months, her speech was near baseline. Cerebral vasospasm may represent a rare cause of morbidity after anterior temporal lobectomy; a literature review on the subject is presented 6).