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Epilepsia. 2001 Feb;42(2):226-9.

Multiple subpial transections: the Yale experience.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, U.S.A.



Although resection of an epileptogenic region is the mainstay of epilepsy surgery, epileptogenic areas in functionally critical cortex cannot be approached in that manner. Multiple subpial transection (MST) was developed to treat those refractory seizures without causing unacceptable neurologic deficit. We review our experience with this technique.


Twelve patients who underwent MST with or without resection between 1990 and 1998 were retrospectively reviewed with regard to seizure and neurologic outcome, and predictive factors.


Five (42%) of 12 patients obtained a significant improvement in seizure frequency, and two other patients had a marked decrease in the severity of their seizures. Resection with MST reduced seizure frequency more, but this was not a significant difference. No predictive factors for outcome were identified. Only one patient sustained any persistent neurologic deficit.


In selected patients, MST may be a viable alternative when the epileptogenic focus lies in unresectable cortex. A multicenter study with appreciable patient numbers will be necessary to define predictive factors for success.

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