Use of Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Tailored Temporal Lobe Surgeries for Epilepsy


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. M. Buchfelder at Neurochlrurgische Klinikund Poliklinik, Universität Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Str. 40, D-37075 Göttingen, Germany. E-mail:


Summary:  Purpose: We investigated whether intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was able to assess immediately the extent of a tailored temporal lobe resection for epilepsy in comparison to delayed postoperative MRI. The recently proposed concept of an individually tailored procedure, preserving tissue not involved in seizures, leads to a variety of differently shaped resections.

Methods: For intraoperative imaging we used a Magnetom Open 0.2 Tesla scanner. Fifty-eight patients undergoing temporal lobe resections for pharmacoresistant epilepsy were investigated. Half of these were nonlesional. All patients had delayed postoperative follow-up scans, which were compared with the intraoperative, postresection images.

Results: In 49 (84%) of 58 cases, intraoperative MRI depicted the resection cavity identical to delayed postoperative studies. Complete resection of the visible lesion was primarily proved in 23 of the 29 cases. In two patients with lesions and in one nonlesional case, the resection was extended after intraoperative imaging, thus increasing the rate of total resections in gliomas from 73 to 87%. In four patients, an extension into eloquent areas did not allow complete removal. In the nonlesional cases (n = 29), the extent of tailored temporal resections also could be exactly documented intraoperatively.

Conclusions: Intraoperative MRI allowed a reliable evaluation of the localization and extent of resection in epilepsy surgery within the operative procedure. Furthermore, it provided the possibility of an image-based correction of an initially incomplete resection, particularly in lesional cases. In the majority of patients, the intraoperative images would have been able to replace delayed postoperative MRI. However, in 16%, there were postoperative changes in the resection volume.