Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy for Epilepsy
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MRI-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (MgLiTT) uses a narrow diameter cannula to stereotactically target and heat deeper cerebral structures. This technique produces a precise lesion in the brain with great reliability because the localized tissue temperature change is monitored in real time. Because MgLiTT minimizes injury to surrounding brain, it appears to have a lower risk of affecting normal neurological function, and because it is done through a burr hole, there is less operative risk, less discomfort, and shorter hospitalizations. It is FDA approved for soft tissue ablation and is being increasingly applied to the surgical treatment of epilepsy, especially when seizures arise from deeper structures such as the hippocampus, amygdala, or discrete dysplastic tissue such as hypothalamic hamartomas. Mesial temporal epilepsy is the most frequently encountered surgically remedial epilepsy suitable for MgLiTT, particularly when there is unilateral hippocampal sclerosis. There is emerging evidence that it can be effective for eliminating seizures in this type of epilepsy, and that it has a lower risk of cognitive deficits than anterior temporal lobectomy.