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J Child Neurol. 2001 Aug;16(8):585-90.

Temporal lobectomy in early childhood: the need for long-term follow-up.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle 98105, USA. msoter@chmc.org


We retrospectively identified 15 children ages 12 years and under with anticonvulsant resistant epilepsy who underwent a temporal lobectomy at Children's Hospital, Boston, between 1978 and 1993. Our aim was to study the long-term seizure outcome. Data pertaining to preoperative evaluation, electroencephalography (EEG), neuroimaging, surgery, seizure outcome, and postoperative complications were reviewed. Only patients followed for more than 12 months were included. The average duration of follow-up was 57 months. At the last visit, 47% (7 of 15) of the children were seizure free or only had auras: another 33% (5 of 15) had > 90% reduction in seizure frequency. Three patients had < 90% seizure reduction. Four cases were initially seizure free but had subsequent recurrence between 11 and 28 months after the epilepsy surgery. Factors associated with a good outcome include exclusively focal EEG discharges or an imaging suggestive of a low-grade tumor; factors associated with a poor outcome include generalized EEG discharges and a normal magnetic resonance image. Temporal lobectomy is useful in the treatment of early childhood drug-resistant partial epilepsy, but long-term follow-up is necessary as late seizure recurrence may occur up to 28 months after surgery.

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