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Seizure. 2010 Jun;19(5):264-8. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2010.03.002. Epub 2010 Apr 1.

Vagus nerve stimulation: outcome and predictors of seizure freedom in long-term follow-up.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Birjand University of Medical Science, Iran.



To present long-term outcome and to identify predictors of seizure freedom after vagus nerve stimulation (VNS).


All patients who had undergone VNS implantation in the Epilepsy Centre Bethel were retrospectively reviewed. There were 144 patients who had undergone complete presurgical evaluation, including detailed clinical history, magnetic resonance imaging, and long-term video-EEG with ictal and interictal recordings. After implantation, all patients were examined at regular intervals of 4 weeks for 6-9 months. During this period the antiepileptic medication remained constant. All patients included in this study were followed up for a minimum of 2 years.


Ten patients remained seizure-free for more than 1 year after VNS implantation (6.9%). Seizures improved in 89 patients (61.8%) but no changes were observed in 45 patients (31.3%). The following factors were significant in the univariate analysis: age at implantation, multifocal interictal epileptiform discharges, unilateral interictal epileptiform discharge, cortical dysgenesis, and psychomotor seizure. Stepwise multivariate analysis showed that unilateral interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs), P=0.014, HR=0.112 (95% CIs, 0.019-0.642), cortical dysgenesis P=0.007, HR=0.065 (95% CIs, 0.009-0.481) and younger age at implantation P=0.026, HR=7.533 (95% CIs 1.28-44.50) were independent predictors of seizure freedom in the long-term follow-up.


VNS implantation may render patients with some forms of cortical dysgenesis (parietooccipital polymicrogyria, macrogyria) seizure-free. Patients with unilateral IEDs and earlier implantation achieved the most benefit from VNS.

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