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J Neurosurg. 1984 Mar;60(3):457-66.

Surgical management of epilepsy using epidural recordings to localize the seizure focus. Review of 100 cases.


One hundred patients with focal epilepsy (44 were children) were evaluated with extraoperative electrocorticography via epidural electrode arrays. Localization of the epileptogenic focus was derived predominantly from recordings made during spontaneously occurring seizures. All resection procedures were carried out under general anesthesia. During anesthesia, the recording of sensory evoked responses made it possible to readily identify the sensorimotor region. Of the 100 patients, 72 underwent resection of an epileptogenic focus, and 33 of these were children. Those who did not have a resection either exhibited a diffuse seizure focus, failed to show an electrical seizure discharge in association with the clinical seizure, failed to have a seizure during the period of monitoring, or failed to exhibit conclusive changes for identifying a focus in the interictal record. Fifty-seven patients (29 children and 28 adults) who had a resection have been followed for between 1 and 12 years. Eighteen (62%) of the 29 children and 18 (64%) of the 28 adults enjoyed a good result. Twenty of the 100 patients reported here had temporal lobe epilepsy. They were candidates for recordings with depth electrodes to identify their focus, but they were evaluated instead with epidural recordings; the method is described. In 15 of them, a unilateral focus was identified and they underwent an anterior temporal lobectomy. Pathological changes were found in every case and, in 11 patients, the epidural recordings distinguished between a medial and a lateral focus. Ten of these patients have been followed for 9 months to 3 1/2 years, and seven have had a good result. The observations suggest that epidural electrodes may be used in lieu of depth electrodes for identifying the symptomatic temporal lobe.

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