Stereo-EEG Evaluation and Surgical Treatment in Patients With Drug-Resistant Focal Epilepsy Associated With Nodular Heterotopia

Sarah R. Durica, James P. Caruso, Irina Podkorytova, Kan Ding, Ryan Hays, Ghazala Perven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Nodular heterotopia (NH) is a common cause of drug-resistant epilepsy. Only limited studies detail the treatment of NH with laser interstitial thermal therapy and none analyze the relation between epileptogenicity and NH location. Methods: We retrospectively studied nine patients with drug-resistant epilepsy and NH who underwent stereoelectroencephalography and subsequent epilepsy surgery. Nodular heterotopia in the frontal lobes or along the bodies of the lateral ventricles was classified as anterior NH. Nodular heterotopia in the trigones, temporal or occipital horns, or temporal lobes was classified as posterior NH. Nodular heterotopia in both anterior and posterior locations was classified as diffuse NH. Interictal and ictal stereoelectroencephalography were analyzed, and patients were followed postoperatively to assess outcomes. Results: Of the six patients who underwent nine laser interstitial thermal therapy procedures either in isolation or in combination with other surgical therapies, four patients were Engel Ia, one was Engel IIb, and one was Engel IIIa, with an average follow-up of 22.8 months. All patients with posterior NH had interictal epileptiform abnormalities and seizures originating from the posterior NH. None of the patients with anterior NH had epileptiform activity recorded from their NH. Conclusion: Laser interstitial thermal therapy alone or in combination with other surgical therapies is an effective treatment in those with drug-resistant epilepsy because of NH, even in those with extensive NH and broad seizure onset. We observed a trend suggesting that posterior NH are more likely to be epileptogenic compared with anterior NH and recommend that in patients with anterior NH, alternative epilepsy etiologies and stereoelectroencephalography implantation strategies be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Clinical Neurophysiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Laser ablation
  • LITT
  • Stereoelectroencephalography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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