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Seizure. 2011 Sep;20(7):580-2. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2011.04.010. Epub 2011 May 28.

Seizure frequency and social outcome in drug resistant epilepsy patients who do not undergo epilepsy surgery.

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Epilepsy Unit, Department of Neurology, Hospital Clínic, c/Villarroel 170, Barcelona, Spain.


Little is known about the long term prognosis of refractory epilepsy patients who do not undergo epilepsy surgery. We performed a telephone survey and chart review of patients who underwent presurgical evaluation in our Unit but did not have surgery, from 1998 until 2004. We contacted 84 patients; mean follow-up was 6.7 years. Four patients (4.7%) had died, presumably of SUDEP. Ten patients (13.1%) were seizure free. In most patients with seizures, frequency remained stable (24/80, 30%) or had decreased by ≥50% (26 patients, 30.9%). Most patients (69, 86.2%) believed their health was similar or better respect to the moment they underwent presurgical evaluation. Employment situation was stable in 64/80 patients (80%), but 11 had received new disability wages. Family situation was also generally unchanged (69/80 patients, 86.2%). Most patients were not taking antidepressants. Seizure free patients scored higher in satisfaction with life. This information can be used to counsel refractory patients.

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