The authors describe their experience with stereotactic implantation of insular depth electrodes in patients with medically intractable epilepsy.Between 2001 and 2009, 20 patients with epilepsy and suspected insular involvement during seizures underwent intracranial electrode array implantation at the authors' institution. All patients had either 1 or 2 insular depth electrodes placed as part of an intracranial array.A total of 29 insular depth electrodes were placed using a frontal oblique trajectory. Eleven patients had a single insular electrode placed and 8 patients had 2 insular electrodes placed unilaterally. One patient had bilateral insular electrodes implanted. Postoperative imaging demonstrated satisfactory placement in all but 1 instance, and there was no associated morbidity or mortality. Fourteen patients underwent a subsequent resection, involving the frontal lobe (9 patients), temporal lobe (4), or frontotemporal lobes (1), and of these, 11 currently have Engel Class I outcome. Two patients (10%) had seizures originating within the insula and another 5 patients (25%) demonstrated early specific insular involvement. Neither patient with an insular seizure focus went on to resection. All 5 of the patients with early specific insular involvement underwent an insula-sparing resective procedure with Engel Class I outcome in all cases.Stereotactic placement of insular electrodes via a frontal oblique approach is a safe and efficient technique for investigating insular involvement in medically intractable epilepsy. The information obtained from insular recording can be valuable for appreciating the degree of insular contribution to seizures, allowing localization to the insula or clearer implication of other sites.
View details for DOI 10.3171/2010.9.JNS091803
View details for Web of Science ID 000288725900045
View details for PubMedID 20950081