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Childs Nerv Syst. 2010 Jul;26(7):945-51. doi: 10.1007/s00381-009-1056-7. Epub 2009 Dec 15.

Surgery for extratemporal nonlesional epilepsy in children: a meta-analysis.

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  • 1Clarian Neuroscience Institute, Indianapolis Neurosurgical Group (ING), Indianapolis, IN, USA.



Previous small studies have demonstrated that seizure outcomes following surgery for extratemporal lobe epilepsy (ETLE) in children are worse than those for temporal lobe epilepsy. We have conducted a meta-analysis of the available literature to better understand ETLE surgical outcomes in children.


We searched PubMed (1990-2009) for appropriate studies using the following terms: ETLE, ETLE surgery, ETLE surgery outcome, frontal lobe epilepsy, occipital lobe epilepsy, and parietal lobe epilepsy. Our collected data included patient age at seizure onset and surgery, the cerebral lobe involved with epileptogenesis, MRI findings, predominant seizure semiology, intracranial monitoring use (electrode implantation), epileptic region histopathology, and postoperative seizure outcome. Statistical analysis was performed to determine associations among these variables and postoperative outcome.


Ninety-five patients from 17 studies satisfied the inclusion criteria. Pathological findings (p = 0.039) and seizure type (p = 0.025) were significantly associated with outcome: A larger proportion of patients with cortical dysplasia and complex partial seizures experienced better outcomes. Age at surgery (p = 0.073) and the cerebral resection site (p = 0.059) were marginally associated with seizure outcome.


This study confirms previous reports: Surgical outcomes for ETLE epilepsy are significantly worse than those for temporal lobe epilepsy. The reasons for this difference may include the diffuse nature of the pathology involved in ETLE, difficulty in localizing the seizure focus in young children, and involvement of "eloquent" nonresectable cortex in epileptogenesis. Because of the reporting variability among different epilepsy centers, more uniform protocols are necessary for fair evaluation and comparison of outcomes among the different centers.

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