Pediatric epilepsy surgery: could age be a predictor of outcomes?

Jenny, Benoit; Smoll, Nicolas; El Hassani, Yassine; Momjian, Shahan; Pollo, Claudio; Korff, Christian M; Seeck, Margitta; Schaller, Karl (2016). Pediatric epilepsy surgery: could age be a predictor of outcomes? Journal of neurosurgery - pediatrics, 18(2), pp. 235-241. American Association of Neurological Surgeons 10.3171/2015.10.PEDS14413

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OBJECTIVE Like adults, many children suffering from intractable seizures benefit from surgical therapy. Although various reports indicate that early intervention may avoid severe developmental consequences often associated with intractable epilepsy, surgery is still considered a last option for many children. In this retrospective study, the authors aimed to determine whether pediatric epilepsy surgery, in particular during the first years of life, relates to measurable benefits. METHODS Data from 78 patients (age range 5 months to 17 years) who underwent epilepsy surgery at the Geneva and Lausanne University Hospitals between 1997 and 2012 were reviewed retrospectively. Patients were dichotomized into 2 groups: infants (≤ 3 years of age, n = 19), and children/adolescents (4-17 years of age, n = 59). Compared with children/adolescents, infants more often had a diagnosis of dysplasia (37% vs 10%, respectively; p < 0.05, chi-square test). RESULTS The overall seizure-free rate was 76.9%, with 89.5% in infants and 72.9% in the children/adolescents group. Infants were 2.76 times as likely to achieve seizure-free status as children/adolescents. Postoperative antiepileptic medication was reduced in 67.9% of patients. Only 11.4% of the patients were taking more than 2 antiepileptic drugs after surgery, compared with 43% before surgery (p < 0.0001). The overall complication rate was 15.1% (6.4% transient hemiparesis), and no major complications or deaths occurred. CONCLUSIONS The data show a high seizure-free rate in children ≤ 3 years of age, despite a higher occurrence of dysplastic, potentially ill-defined lesions. Pediatric patients undergoing epilepsy surgery can expect a significant reduction in their need for medication. Given the excellent results in the infant group, prospective studies are warranted to determine whether age ≤ 3 years is a predictor for excellent surgical outcome.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurosurgery

UniBE Contributor:

Pollo, Claudio


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




American Association of Neurological Surgeons




Nicole Söll

Date Deposited:

06 Apr 2017 10:41

Last Modified:

06 Apr 2017 10:41

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

AED = antiepileptic drug; CI = confidence interval; DNET = dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor; EEG = electroencephalography; Engel classification; OR = odds ratio; TPO = temporoparietooccipital; children; cortical dysplasia; epilepsy surgery; medication reduction; outcome




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