Posterior quadrant disconnection

Posterior quadrant disconnection

Posterior quadrant disconnection (PQD) is surgery for refractory unilateral temporo-parieto-occipital epilepsy to limit the propagation of epileptic discharges. As incomplete disconnection can lead to residual seizures, detailed procedures are presented by Umaba et al. using a cadaveric brain, three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction and simulation models, and intraoperative photographs.

A formalin-fixed adult cadaveric brain was dissected to show each step in PQD. Using 3D preoperative planning software, we reconstructed 3D models from computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, and visualized operative views. Intraoperative photographs were taken from the case of a 7-year-old girl with temporo-parieto-occipital epilepsy.

Fronto-temporo-parietal craniotomy is performed. The Sylvian fissure is widely dissected and the insular cortex is exposed. The temporal stem is disconnected along the inferior periinsular sulcus. The disconnection is extended from the limen insulae to the atrium of the lateral ventricle (LV). The fibers between the head of the hippocampus and the amygdala are disconnected. The parietal lobe is disconnected along the postcentral sulcus and the disconnection is connected to the atrium of the LV. At the medial surface of the parietal lobe, the disconnection is continued until reaching the corpus callosum (CC). The splenium of the CC is disconnected via the medial wall of the LV. The fornix is divided in the atrium of the LV. After these steps, disconnection of the unilateral tempo-parieto-occipital lobe is achieved while preserving the arteries and veins.

Inclusion of views from cadaveric brains, 3D reconstruction and simulation models, and intraoperative photographs facilitates a clearer anatomical understanding of PQD 1).

Twenty hemispheres were dissected according to Klingler’s fiber dissection technique illustrating the peri-insular (temporal stem, superior longitudinal fasciculus, corona radiata) and mesial disconnection (mesiotemporal cortex, cingulum, and corpus callosum).

Extensive white matter tract disconnection is obtained after posterior quadrant disconnection. Callosal fibers connecting the anterior most part of the parietal cortex invariably ran through the isthmus of the corpus callosum and need to be disconnected, while frontal lobe connections including the corticospinal tract and the anterior two-thirds of the corpus callosum are spared during the procedure.

The findings suggest the involvement of both the splenium and the isthmus in interhemispheric propagation in posterior cortex epilepsies. Sectioning the total extent of the posterior one-third of the corpus callosum might therefore be necessary to achieve optimal outcomes in posterior quadrant epilepsy surgery 2).

Nooraine et al. analyzed the data of seven (n = 7) consecutive posterior quadrant epilepsy patients who underwent posterior quadrant disconnection with a mean age of 8.5 years over the last three years of which 4 were male and 3 females. All patients underwent extensive pre-surgical evaluation including detailed history, examination, prolonged video EEG recordings, neuropsychological testing, MRI brain, DTI, PET scan (n = 6), fMRI (n = 4), WADA test (n = 1) and invasive recording (n = 1), Of seven patients four had left sided pathology and three had right sided pathology. All patients except one underwent pure disconnection and one underwent partial resection.

Posterior quadrant disconnection is effective surgical procedure for medically refractory epilepsy arising from the posterior quadrant in carefully selected patients without morbidity or functional disability across various age groups especially in children. In our series, all seven patient had good seizure outcome and none had functional disabilities 3).

Ten patients who were surgically treated using the posterior quadrantectomy (PQT) were enrolled in this study. Surgical outcome was analyzed as seizure-free or not at 2 years after surgery. Psychomotor development was evaluated by the scores of mental developmental index (MDI) and psychomotor developmental index (PDI) in the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II preoperatively, and at 6 and 12 months after the PQT. RESULTS:

Eight of 10 patients were seizure-free. Patients without complete elimination of the angiomatous areas had residual seizures. Average MDI and PDI scores before the surgery were 64.8 and 71.6, respectively. Scores of MDI at 6 and 12 months after the PQT in seizure-free patients were 80.5 and 84.5, respectively (p < 0.01). PDI scores at these postoperative intervals were 87.3 and 86.4, respectively (p < 0.05). Patients with residual seizures did not improve in either MDI or PDI. SIGNIFICANCE:

The PQT achieved good seizure control and improved psychomotor development in patients with SWS. The complete deafferentation of angiomatous areas is required for seizure-free results and psychomotor developmental improvement 4).

There were 3 males and 7 females (median age 8.7 years; range 4.2-22.1 years). The affected hemisphere was the left in 3 patients and the right in 7. The patients’ median age at seizure onset was 3.0 years (range 0.2-8.3 years). The median duration of epilepsy before surgery was 5.2 years (range 1.3-17.2 years). The underlying pathology was TPO malformation of cortical development in 5 patients, and venous infarction, posterior hemispheric quadrant atrophy, Sturge-Weber syndrome, cortical involvement of a systemic lupus erythematosus, and gliosis after cerebral tumor treatment in 1 each. In 6 children, a pure TPO disconnection was performed; in 2 patients, the temporal lobe was resected and parietooccipital disconnection was performed. The 2 remaining patients had had previous epilepsy surgery that was extended to a TPO disconnection: disconnection of the occipital lobe (n = 1) and resection of the temporal lobe (n = 1). The authors encountered no complications while performing surgery. No patient needed blood replacement therapy. No patient developed CSF disturbances that warranted treatment. Nine of 10 patients are currently seizure free since surgery (Wieser Class 1a) at a median follow-up time of 2.1 years (range 4 months to 8.1 years). CONCLUSIONS:

Temporoparietooccipital disconnection is a safe and effective motor-sparing epilepsy surgery in selected cases. Technical adjuncts facilitate a better intraoperative visualization and orientation, thereby enabling a less invasive approach than previously suggested 5).

there were 13 patients with a median age of 17 years. All patients had extensive presurgical evaluation that provided concordant evidence localizing the lesion and seizure focus to the posterior quadrant. The objective of the surgery was to eliminate the effect of the epileptogenic tissue and preserve motor and sensory functions. RESULTS:

During the course of this study period of 15 years, the surgical procedure performed evolved toward incorporating more techniques of disconnection and minimizing resection. Three technical variants were thus utilized in this series, namely, (i) anatomical posterior quadrantectomy (APQ), (ii) functional posterior quadrantectomy (FPQ), and (iii) periinsular posterior quadrantectomy (PIPQ). After a median follow-up period of 6 years, 12/13 patients had Engel’s Class I seizure outcome. CONCLUSION:

The results of surgery for posterior quadrantic epilepsy have yielded excellent seizure outcomes in 92% of the patients in the series with no mortality or major morbidity. The incorporation of disconnective techniques in multilobar surgery has maintained the excellent results obtained earlier with resective surgery 6).

An enhanced operative video presents the illustrative case of a total Posterior quadrant disconnection indicated for a 15-year-old boy with Sturge-Weber syndrome suffering from seizure recurrence after a partial PQD. Barrit et al. described the surgical procedure with emphasis on relevant anatomy and multimodal intraoperative guidance in three steps: (i) parieto-occipital disconnection, (ii) posterior callosotomy, and (iii) temporal disconnection/resection. Pearls and pitfalls of surgical management are discussed.

Posterior quadrant disconnection is a less invasive surgical option than typical hemispherectomy for selected indications of posterior multilobar epilepsy 7).


Umaba R, Uda T, Nakajo K, Kawashima T, Tanoue Y, Koh S, Uda H, Kunihiro N, Matsusaka Y, Ohata K. Anatomical understanding of posterior quadrant disconnection from cadaveric brain, 3D reconstruction and simulation model, and intraoperative photographs. World Neurosurg. 2018 Aug 30. pii: S1878-8750(18)31951-X. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2018.08.168. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30172981.

Verhaeghe A, Decramer T, Naets W, Van Paesschen W, van Loon J, Theys T. Posterior Quadrant Disconnection: A Fiber Dissection Study. Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown). 2018 Jan 1;14(1):45-50. doi: 10.1093/ons/opx060. PubMed PMID: 29253283.

Nooraine J, R SK, Iyer RB, Rao RM, Raghavendra S. Posterior quadrant disconnection for refractory epilepsy: A case series. Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2014 Oct;17(4):392-7. doi: 10.4103/0972-2327.144006. PubMed PMID: 25506159; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4251011.

Sugano H, Nakanishi H, Nakajima M, Higo T, Iimura Y, Tanaka K, Hosozawa M, Niijima S, Arai H. Posterior quadrant disconnection surgery for Sturge-Weber syndrome. Epilepsia. 2014 May;55(5):683-9. doi: 10.1111/epi.12547. Epub 2014 Feb 22. PubMed PMID: 24621276.

Dorfer C, Czech T, Mühlebner-Fahrngruber A, Mert A, Gröppel G, Novak K, Dressler A, Reiter-Fink E, Traub-Weidinger T, Feucht M. Disconnective surgery in posterior quadrantic epilepsy: experience in a consecutive series of 10 patients. Neurosurg Focus. 2013 Jun;34(6):E10. doi: 10.3171/2013.3.FOCUS1362. PubMed PMID: 23724834.

Daniel RT, Meagher-Villemure K, Farmer JP, Andermann F, Villemure JG. Posterior quadrantic epilepsy surgery: technical variants, surgical anatomy, and case series. Epilepsia. 2007 Aug;48(8):1429-37. Epub 2007 Apr 18. PubMed PMID: 17441997.

Barrit S, Park EH, Madsen JR. Posterior quadrant disconnection for refractory epilepsy: how I do it. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2022 May 17. doi: 10.1007/s00701-022-05221-x. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35578117.

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