MR-guided laser ablation for the treatment of hypothalamic hamartomas

Daniel J. Curry*, Jeffery Raskin, Irfan Ali, Angus A. Wilfong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Hypothalamic hamartoma is an archetypal example of subcortical epilepsy that can be associated with intractable gelastic epilepsy, secondary epilepsy, and epileptic encephalopathy. The history of its surgical treatment is fraught with mislocalization of the seizure focus, modest efficacy and a high complication rate. Many minimally invasive techniques have been described to mitigate this high complication profile of which MR-guided laser ablation is one. The technology combines instant effect of thermal coagulation with stereotactic precision and guidance with real time MR thermography. This article presents a series of 71 hypothalamic hamartoma patients operated with laser ablation. Ninety-three percent (93%) were free of gelastic seizures at one year with 23% of the patients requiring more than one ablation. One patient experienced a significant memory deficit and one patient experienced worsening diabetes insipidus. Stereotactic laser ablation appears to be a safe and effective surgical option in the treatment of hypothalamic hamartoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-134
Number of pages4
JournalEpilepsy Research
StatePublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Gelastic epilepsy
  • Hypothalamic hamartoma
  • Stereotactic laser ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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