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Seizure. 2009 May;18(4):269-74. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2008.10.012. Epub 2008 Dec 9.

Vagus nerve stimulation: longitudinal follow-up of patients treated for 5 years.

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Brno Epilepsy Center; First Department of Neurology, St. Anne's University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Brno, Pekarská 53, Czech Republic.


We performed a retrospective, multicenter, open-label study to evaluate the efficacy of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) in all patients in the Czech Republic who have received this treatment for at least 5 years (n=90). The mean last follow-up was 6.6+/-1.1 years (79+/-13 months). The median number of seizures among all patients decreased from 41.2 seizures/month in the prestimulation period to 14.9 seizures/month at 5 years follow-up visit. The mean percentage of seizure reduction was 55.9%. The responder rate in these patients is in concordance with the decrease of overall seizure frequency. At 1 year after beginning the stimulation, 44.4% of patients were responders; this percentage increased to 58.7% after 2 years. At the 5 years last follow-up 64.4% of patients were responders, 15.5% experienced > or = 90% seizure reduction, and 5.5% were seizure-free. A separate analysis of patients younger than 16 years of age showed lower efficacy rates of VNS in comparison to the whole group. Complications and chronic adverse effects occurred in 13.3% of patients. VNS is an effective and safe method to refractory epilepsy in common clinical practice.

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