Epileptic Disorders


Temporal encephalocele: a rare but treatable cause of temporal lobe epilepsy Volume 24, numéro 6, December 2022


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1 Bajaj Allianz Comprehensive Center for Epilepsy Care, Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital and research centre, Pune, India
2 D.Y. Patil Medical College, Pune, India
3 Department of Radiology, Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital and research centre, Pune, India
4 School of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology, Bharati Vidyapeeth Medical College, Pune, India
5 Department of Radiology, Star imaging centre and research centre, Pune, India
6 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital and research centre, Pune, India
Sujit Abajirao Jagtap
Bajaj Allianz Comprehensive Centre for Epilepsy Care, Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital and research centre, Pune, India


Although rare, temporal encephalocele is an important causative agent in surgically remediable drug-refractory epilepsy. The ideal treatment for temporal encephalocele remains unclear with a variety of resective surgeries recommended. Here, we analyse patient data on temporal encephalocele with a view to highlighting diagnostic clues and management strategies.


Comprehensive databases at Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, Pune from January 2015 to June 2019 were reviewed for this observational study. Of 107 temporal lobe epilepsy surgery patients, nine individuals with temporal encephalocele were identified, who formed the study cohort. Their clinical, neuropsychological, EEG, imaging and long-term outcome data were analysed.


The study cohort consisted of seven males and two females with a mean age of 22 years. Epilepsy onset age varied from 4.5 to 19 years. Seven patients had focal non-motor seizures with impaired awareness, while two patients had focal motor seizures. Temporal encephalocele detection by MRI was reported in only two patients, and was missed in seven individuals. Three patients underwent standard anterior temporal lobectomy while the remaining six underwent resection of the temporal encephalocele with surrounding temporal pole. Eight patients showed Engel Class I outcome and one showed Class IIa outcome after a mean follow-up duration of 27 months (17-44 months). Histopathology confirmed gliosis in seven, hippocampal sclerosis type I in one and suspicious dyslamination with prominent gliosis in one patient. Six of eight patients reported an improvement in their psychological state (mood, anxiety and motivation) over time.


A careful review of MRI in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy is necessary, followed by investigations for the presence of an encephalocele. When temporal lobe epilepsy is associated with encephalocele, tailored resection of the encephalocele and the surrounding temporal pole, sparing mesial temporal structures, demonstrates excellent long-term clinical and neuropsychological outcome.