OBJECTIVE: Epilepsy neurosurgery is a treatment option for children with refractory epilepsy. Our aim was to determine if outcomes improved over time. METHODS: Pediatric epilepsy surgery patients operated in the first 11 years (1986-1997; pre-1997) were compared with the second 11 years (1998-2008; post-1997) for differences in presurgical and postsurgical variables. RESULTS: Despite similarities in seizure frequency, age at seizure onset, and age at surgery, the post-1997 series had more lobar/focal and fewer multilobar resections, and more patients with tuberous sclerosis complex and fewer cases of nonspecific gliosis compared with the pre-1997 group. Fewer cases had intracranial EEG studies in the post-1997 (0.8%) compared with the pre-1997 group (9%). Compared with the pre-1997 group, the post-1997 series had more seizure-free patients at 0.5 (83%, +16%), 1 (81%, +18%), 2 (77%, +19%), and 5 (74%, +29%) years, and more seizure-free patients were on medications at 0.5 (97%, +6%), 1 (88%, +9%), and 2 (76%, +29%), but not 5 (64%, +8%) years after surgery. There were fewer complications and reoperations in the post-1997 series compared with the pre-1997 group. Logistic regression identified post-1997 series and less aggressive medication withdrawal as the main predictors of becoming seizure-free 2 years after surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Improved technology and surgical procedures along with changes in clinical practice were likely factors linked with enhanced and sustained seizure-free outcomes in the post-1997 series. These findings support the general concept that clearer identification of lesions and complete resection are linked with better outcomes in pediatric epilepsy surgery patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology