Prolonged Blood-Brain Barrier Disruption Following Laser Interstitial Ablation in Epilepsy: A Case Series with a Case Report of Postablation Optic Neuritis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: Laser interstitial thermal therapy has become increasingly popular for targeting epileptic foci in a minimally invasive fashion. Despite its use in >1000 patients, the long-term effects of photothermal injury on brain physiology remain poorly understood. METHODS: We prospectively followed clinical and radiographic courses of 13 patients undergoing laser ablation for focal epilepsy by the senior author (N.T.). Only patients with nonenhancing lesions and patients who had a delayed postoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan with gadolinium administration approximately 6 months after ablation were considered. Volumetric estimates of the amount of enhancement immediately after ablation and on the delayed MRI scan were made. RESULTS: Median interval between surgery and delayed postoperative MRI scan was 6 months (range, 5-8 months). In 12 of 13 cases, persistent enhancement was seen, consistent with prolonged blood-brain barrier dysfunction. Enhancement, when present, was 9%-67% (mean 30%). There was no correlation between the time from surgery and the relative percentage of postoperative enhancement on MRI. The blood-brain barrier remained compromised to gadolinium contrast for up to 8 months after thermal therapy. There were no adverse events from surgical intervention; however, 1 patient developed delayed optic neuritis. CONCLUSIONS: Prolonged incompetence of the blood-brain barrier produced by thermal ablation may provide a path for delivery of macromolecules into perilesional tissue, which could be exploited for therapeutic benefit, but rarely it may result in autoimmune central nervous system inflammatory conditions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Morris, S-A; Rollo, M; Rollo, P; Johnson, J; Grant, GA; Friedman, E; Kalamangalam, G; Tandon, N

Published Date

  • August 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 104 /

Start / End Page

  • 467 - 475

PubMed ID

  • 28502693

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-8769

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.wneu.2017.05.009


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States