Literature Monitor

Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy Versus Open Epilepsy Surgery

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat; 2017 Sep 26; Shukla et al.


Magnetic resonance-guided laser interstitial therapy (MRgLITT) is as efficacious as open surgery for patients with medically intractable epilepsy, according to a recent review of the research literature.

  • MRgLITT can effectively ablate seizure foci without disrupting neuropsychological functioning.
  • The procedure allows clinicians to receive real-time feedback and lets them monitor tissue ablation.
  • By contrast, open surgery can control seizures but risks complications, including cognitive problems and neurologic deficits.
  • Patients who undergo MRgLITT will likely spend less time in the hospital and experience less postoperative pain, when compared to open surgical procedures.
  • Although the research comparing open surgery to laser interstitial therapy suggests the latter offers advantages, the review points out that the research under consideration involved small sample sizes.
  • Another limitation of the available studies is that they do not report the long-term outcomes of MRgLITT.

Shukla ND, Ho AL, Pendharkar AV, Sussman ES, Halpern CH. Laser interstitial thermal therapy for the treatment of epilepsy: evidence to date. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2017;13:2469-2475.

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