Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Alan WeintraubEmail author
  • John Whyte
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_37


Hemispherectomy refers to a radical neurosurgical procedure in which a complete cerebral hemisphere is removed. This “disconnection” procedure enables functional isolation of single or multiple epileptogenic regions largely involving one hemisphere. The most common indication for the procedure is refractory hemispheric epilepsy or Rasmussen syndrome, a form of epilepsy associated with progressive destruction of one cerebral hemisphere. The outcome of hemispherectomy with respect to epilepsy and functional abilities depends on the underlying disease being treated.

Current Knowledge

Hemispherectomy, though a disabling procedure to treat medically intractable seizures predominately in children, may ultimately result in an improved quality of life. This is compared with the safety risks of constant uncontrollable seizures affecting one’s lifestyle and the toxic effects of anticonvulsant drugs used in an attempt to control them. In addition, it has provided fascinating insights...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Readings

  1. Bode, S., Firestine, A., Mathern, G. W., & Dobkin, B. (2005). Residual motor control and cortical representations of function following hemispherectomy: Effects of etiology. Journal of Child Neurology, 20(1), 64–75.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hu, W. H., Zhang, C., Zhang, K., Shao, X. Q., & Zhang, J. G. (2016). Hemispheric surgery for refractory epilepsy: A systematic review and meta-analysis with emphasis on seizure predictors and outcomes. Journal of Neurosurgery, 124(4), 952–961.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Marras, C. E., Granata, T., Franzini, A., et al. (2010). Hemispherotomy and functional hemispherectomy: Indications and outcome. Epilepsy Research, 89(1), 104–112.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Meoded, A., Faria, A. V., Hartman, A. L., et al. (2016). Cerebral reorganization after hemispherectomy: A DTI study. AJNR. American Journal of Neuroradiology, 37(5), 924–931.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Pardo, C. A., Vining, E. P. G., Guo, L., Skolasky, R. L., Carson, B. S., & Freeman, J. M. (2004). The pathology of Rasmussen syndrome: Stages of cortical involvement and neuropathological studies in 45 hemispherectomies. Epilepsia, 45(5), 516–526.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Pulsifer, M. B., Brandt, J., Salorio, C. F., Vining, E. P. G., Carson, B. S., & Freeman, J. M. (2004). The cognitive outcome of hemispherectomy in 71 children. Epilepsia, 45(3), 243–254.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ramey, W. L., Martirosyan, N. L., Lieu, C. M., et al. (2013). Current management and surgical outcomes of medically intractable epilepsy. Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery, 115(12), 2411–2418.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Terra-Bustamante, V. C., Fernandes, R. M. F., Inuzuka, L. M., Velasco, T. R., Alexandre Jr., V., Wichert-Ana, L., et al. (2005). Surgically amenable epilepsies in children and adolescents: Clinical, imaging, electrophysiological, and post-surgical outcome data. Childs Nervous System, 21(7), 546–551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Craig Hospital, Rocky Mountain Regional Brain Injury SystemEnglewoodUSA
  2. 2.Moss Rehabilitation Research InstituteAlbert Einstein Healthcare NetworkElkins ParkUSA