Surgery of the amygdala and uncus: a case series of glioneuronal tumors

Andrew C. Vivas, Stephen Reintjes, Nir Shimony, Fernando L. Vale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with a lesion within the amygdala and uncus may develop temporal lobe epilepsy despite having functional mesial structures. Resection of functional hippocampus and surrounding structures may lead to unacceptable iatrogenic deficits. To our knowledge, there is limited descriptions of surgical techniques for selectively resecting the amygdala and uncus lesions while preserving the hippocampus in patients with language-dominant temporal lobe pathology. Methods: Thirteen patients with language-dominant temporal lobe epilepsy related to amygdala-centric lesions were identified. Patients with sclerosis of the mesial structures or evidence of pathology outside of the amygdala-uncus region were excluded. Neuropsychological evaluation confirmed normal function of the mesial structures ipsilateral to the lesion. All patients were worked up with video-EEG, high-resolution brain MRI, neuro-psychology evaluation, and either Wada or functional MRI testing. Results: All patients underwent selective resection of the lesion including amygdala and uncus with preservation of the hippocampus via a transcortical inferior temporal gyrus approach to the mesial temporal lobe. Pathology was compatible with glioneuronal tumors. Post-operative MRI demonstrated complete resection in all patients. Eight of the thirteen patients underwent post-operative neuropsychology evaluations and did not demonstrate any significant decline in tasks of delayed verbal recall or visual memory based on the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT). One patient showed a slight decrease in confrontation naming using the Boston Naming Test (BNT). Seizure freedom (Engel class I) was achieved in 12 of 13 patients. Conclusion: Selective transcortical amygdala and uncus resection with hippocampus preservation may be a reasonable way to achieve seizure control while sparing functional mesial structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-801
Number of pages7
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Amygdala
  • Gliomas
  • Hippocampus sparing
  • Low grade
  • Neuropsychology
  • Surgery
  • Temporal lobe epilepsy
  • Uncus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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