Intraoperative Thermal Inactivation of the Hippocampus in an Effort to Prevent Global Amnesia After Temporal Lobectomy

Gregory P Lee, Joseph R. Smith, David W. Loring, Herman F. Flanigin

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2 Scopus citations


Summary: In an effort to assess risk of amnesia after antenor temporal lobectomy (ATL), we conducted localized thermal inactivation (cooling) of the hippocampus with memory testing. Thirty‐three ATL patients whose preoperative evaluation suggested risk for postoperative amnesia underwent hippocampal cooling. Cooling consisted of inserting a catheter in the temporal horn and irrigating it with an iced solution until a stable hippocampal temperature of ‐20°C was reached. Memory was assessed before and after cooling. In 12 of the 33 patients, memory testing was either aborted or suggested poor contralateral support, and the hippocampus was resected in 2 of these patients. The remaining 21 patients showed evidence of contralateral memory support, and the hippocampus was resected in 18. No patient became amnestic. These results suggest that intraoperative hippocampal cooling may be useful in selected cases. However, even among many patients who could cooperate with testing, discomfort, sedation, attentional deficits, confusion, and anxiety made test interpretation difficult.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)892-898
Number of pages7
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995



  • Memory‐Amnesia‐Hippocampus‐Temporal lobectomy‐Epilepsy surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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