Anatomical hemispherectomy revisited-outcome, blood loss, hydrocephalus, and absence of chronic hemosiderosis.

Document Type


Publication Date



DOI: 10.1007/s00381-019-04256-3


PURPOSE: To evaluate microsurgical trans-sylvian trans-ventricular anatomical hemispherectomy with regard to seizure outcome, risk of hydrocephalus, blood loss, and risk of chronic hemosiderosis in patients with intractable seizures selected for surgery using current preoperative assessment techniques.

METHODS: Out of 86 patients who underwent hemispherectomy between February 2000 and April 2019, by a single surgeon, at a tertiary care referral center, 77 patients (ages 0.2-20 years; 40 females) who had an anatomical hemispherectomy were analyzed. Five of these were 'palliative' surgeries. One-stage anatomical hemispherectomy was performed in 55 children, two-stage anatomical hemispherectomy after extraoperative intracranial monitoring in 16, and six hemispherectomies were done following failed previous resection. Mean follow-up duration was 5.7 years (range 1-16.84 years). Forty-six patients had postoperative MRI scans.

RESULTS: Ninety percent of children with non-palliative hemispherectomy achieved ILAE Class-1 outcome. Twenty-seven patients were no longer taking anticonvulsant medications. Surgical failures (n = 4) included one patient with previous meningoencephalitis, one with anti-GAD antibody encephalitis, one with idiopathic neonatal thalamic hemorrhage, and one with extensive tuberous sclerosis. There were no failures among patients with malformations of cortical development. Estimated average blood loss during surgery was 387 ml. Ten (21%) children developed hydrocephalus and required a shunt following one-stage hemispherectomy, whereas 10 (50%) patients developed hydrocephalus among those who had extraoperative intracranial monitoring. Only 20% of the shunts malfunctioned in the first year. Early malfunctions were related to the valve and later to fracture disconnection of the shunt. One patent had a traumatic subdural hematoma. None of the patients developed clinical signs of chronic 'superficial cerebral hemosiderosis' nor was there evidence of radiologically persistent chronic hemosiderosis in patients who had postoperative MRI imaging.

CONCLUSION: Surgical results of anatomical hemispherectomy are excellent in carefully selected cases. Post-operative complications of hydrocephalus and intraoperative blood loss are comparable to those reported for hemispheric disconnective surgery (hemispherotomy). The rate of shunt malfunction was less than that reported for patients with hydrocephalus of other etiologies Absence of chronic 'superficial hemosiderosis', even on long-term follow-up, suggests that anatomical hemispherectomy should be revisited as a viable option in patients with intractable seizures and altered anatomy such as in malformations of cortical development, a group that has a reported high rate of seizure recurrence related to incomplete disconnection following hemispheric disconnective surgery.

Journal Title

Child's nervous system : ChNS : official journal of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery





First Page


Last Page



Hemispherectomy; Hemispherotomy; Hemosiderosis; Hydrocephalus; PET scan; Seizures

Library Record