Objective: The aim was to compare the outcomes of subdural electrode (SDE) implantations versus stereotactic electroencephalography (SEEG), the 2 predominant methods of intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) performed in difficult-to-localize drug-resistant focal epilepsy. Methods: The Surgical Therapies Commission of the International League Against Epilepsy created an international registry of iEEG patients implanted between 2005 and 2019 with ≥1 year of follow-up. We used propensity score matching to control exposure selection bias and generate comparable cohorts. Study endpoints were: (1) likelihood of resection after iEEG; (2) seizure freedom at last follow-up; and (3) complications (composite of postoperative infection, symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage, or permanent neurological deficit). Results: Ten study sites from 7 countries and 3 continents contributed 2,012 patients, including 1,468 (73%) eligible for analysis (526 SDE and 942 SEEG), of whom 988 (67%) underwent subsequent resection. Propensity score matching improved covariate balance between exposure groups for all analyses. Propensity-matched patients who underwent SDE had higher odds of subsequent resective surgery (odds ratio [OR] = 1.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05, 1.84) and higher odds of complications (OR = 2.24, 95% CI 1.34, 3.74; unadjusted: 9.6% after SDE vs 3.3% after SEEG). Odds of seizure freedom in propensity-matched resected patients were 1.66 times higher (95% CI 1.21, 2.26) for SEEG compared with SDE (unadjusted: 55% seizure free after SEEG-guided resections vs 41% after SDE). Interpretation: In comparison to SEEG, SDE evaluations are more likely to lead to brain surgery in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy but have more surgical complications and lower probability of seizure freedom. This comparative-effectiveness study provides the highest feasible evidence level to guide decisions on iEEG. ANN NEUROL 2021;90:927–939.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology