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Pediatr Neurol. 2003 Oct;29(4):302-11.

Pediatric epilepsy surgery at the University of Alberta: 1988-2000.

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  • 1Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


Epilepsy surgery is considered a treatment option for patients with intractable seizures. Relatively few studies of efficacy, safety, and long-term outcome are available for the pediatric age group. This study describes a 12-year experience with pediatric epilepsy surgery at the University of Alberta. Records of pediatric epilepsy surgery patients admitted to the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at the University of Alberta between 1988 and 2000 were reviewed. All patients received preoperative and postoperative clinical evaluation, seizure charts, testing of drug levels, electroencephalogram, computed tomography/magnetic resonance imaging, neuropsychologic testing, and long-term video electroencephalogram monitoring. The patients were reassessed after surgery at 6 weeks, 6 months, and 1 year and then yearly. The duration of follow-up was 1 year to 12 years. Forty-two patients underwent temporal lobectomies; 35, extratemporal resection. The age at surgery ranged from 6 months to 16 years. Thirty-two (76%) of temporal lobe patients became seizure-free (Engel Class I) vs 24 (68%) for the extratemporal group (Engel Class I). One patient (2%) in the temporal group had an Engel Class II outcome and one patient (3%) in the extratemporal group had the same Engel Class II outcome. Three patients (4%) manifested postoperative complications, and there were no deaths. Patients reported improvement in cognitive abilities, behavior, and quality of life after the surgery. Epilepsy surgery in children is effective and safe. Many children are seizure-free after the operation and remain so, although the results of temporal lobectomy are better than for extratemporal resections. There are few complications, and children often have an improved quality of life.

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