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Neurology. 2006 Dec 26;67(12):2147-53. Epub 2006 Nov 2.

New-onset temporal lobe epilepsy in children: lesion on MRI predicts poor seizure outcome.

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Children's Epilepsy Program, Department of Neurology, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, 3052, Australia.



To determine factors predictive of long-term seizure outcome in children with new-onset temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE).


A community-based cohort of 77 children with new-onset TLE, including 14 with possible TLE, were followed prospectively with formal review 7 and 14 years following seizure onset. Diagnoses were re-evaluated at each review, and changed when new clinical, EEG, or imaging data were compelling.


Sixty-four patients sustained the diagnosis of TLE over time; two were lost to follow-up. Age at follow-up was 12 to 29 years (median 20 years). Median follow-up was 13.7 years, 95% being followed for greater than 10 years. Nineteen patients were seizure free (SF) and off treatment, having not had seizures for 5 to 15 years. Duration of active TLE in the SF group was 1 to 8 years, the children being treated with 0 to 3 antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Forty-three patients were not seizure free (NSF) and had ongoing seizures or had undergone epilepsy surgery. These children were treated with 1 to 10 AEDs. Fifteen NSF patients experienced 22 nonterminal seizure remissions of 1 to 7 years duration. Seventeen children had a significant antecedent to TLE. Lesions were identified on neuroimaging in 28 and included hippocampal sclerosis (HS) in 10, tumor in 8, and dysplasia in 7. All children with lesions on MRI were NSF (p < 0.001). Focal slowing on EEG was also associated with persistent seizures (p = 0.05), although this was correlated with a lesion on MRI. Infantile onset of epilepsy, family history of seizures, initial seizure frequency, antecedents, and early seizure remissions were not predictive of seizure outcome.


Seizures spontaneously remit in approximately one third of children with new-onset TLE. A lesion on MRI predicts intractable seizures in TLE and the potential need for epilepsy surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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