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Epilepsy Behav. 2019 Mar;92:311-326. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2019.01.001. Epub 2019 Feb 6.

Epilepsy surgery in low- and middle-income countries: A scoping review.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London WC1N 3BG, UK; Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy, Chalfont St Peter SL9 0RJ, UK; Neurology Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, PMB 1414, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria.
2
Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London WC1N 3BG, UK; Department of Neurology, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China; Magnetic Resonance Imaging Unit, Epilepsy Society, Gerrards Cross, UK.
3
Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London WC1N 3BG, UK; Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy, Chalfont St Peter SL9 0RJ, UK; Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM), Hôpital Notre-Dame, Montréal, Québec H2L 4M1, Canada; Stichting Epilepsie Instellingen Nederland (SEIN), Achterweg 5, 2103 SW Heemstede, Netherlands.
4
Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London WC1N 3BG, UK; Department of Neurosurgery, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London, UK.
5
Centre for Global Health, Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo, Kirkeveien 166, 0450 Oslo, Norway; Center for Global Health, Department of Neurology, Technical University of Munich, Ismaninger Strasse 22, 81675 Munich, Germany.
6
Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London WC1N 3BG, UK; Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy, Chalfont St Peter SL9 0RJ, UK; Stichting Epilepsie Instellingen Nederland (SEIN), Achterweg 5, 2103 SW Heemstede, Netherlands. Electronic address: l.sander@ucl.ac.uk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Epilepsy surgery is an important treatment option for people with drug-resistant epilepsy. Surgical procedures for epilepsy are underutilized worldwide, but it is far worse in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), and it is less clear as to what extent people with drug-resistant epilepsy receive such treatment at all. Here, we review the existing evidence for the availability and outcome of epilepsy surgery in LMIC and discuss some challenges and priority.

METHODS:

We used an accepted six-stage methodological framework for scoping reviews as a guide. We searched PubMed, Embase, Global Health Archives, Index Medicus for South East Asia Region (IMSEAR), Index Medicus for Eastern Mediterranean Region (IMEMR), Latin American & Caribbean Health Sciences Literature (LILACS), African Journal Online (AJOL), and African Index Medicus (AIM) to identify the relevant literature.

RESULTS:

We retrieved 148 articles on epilepsy surgery from 31 countries representing 22% of the 143 LMIC. Epilepsy surgery appears established in some of these centers in Asia and Latin America while some are in their embryonic stage reporting procedures in a small cohort performed mostly by motivated neurosurgeons. The commonest surgical procedure reported was temporal lobectomies. The postoperative seizure-free rates and quality of life (QOL) are comparable with those in the high-income countries (HIC). Some models have shown that epilepsy surgery can be performed within a resource-limited setting through collaboration with international partners and through the use of information and communications technology (ICT). The cost of surgery is a fraction of what is available in HIC.

CONCLUSION:

This review has demonstrated the availability of epilepsy surgery in a few LMIC. The information available is inadequate to make any reasonable conclusion of its existence as routine practice. Collaborations with international partners can provide an opportunity to bring high-quality academic training and technological transfer directly to surgeons working in these regions and should be encouraged.

KEYWORDS:

Access; Epilepsy; Low- and middle-income countries; Priority; Surgery

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