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Br J Neurosurg. 1993;7(1):23-33.

Temporal lobectomy for intractable epilepsy: experience with 58 cases over 21 years.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.


Sixty patients with intractable complex partial seizures underwent surgery between 1969 and 1990, and 58 of these underwent a temporal resection. Of 39 patients who had chronic subdural electrocorticography (ECoG) 37 subsequently underwent an anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) and two had the electrodes removed without resection. Two patients had bilateral depth electrodes placed and then had an ATL. Fourteen patients with evidence of temporal structural lesions had temporal resections with intraoperative ECoG and five had resection without ECoG. Mean length of follow-up for all patients was 6 years. Fifty-five per cent of cases were seizure-free postoperatively, 7% almost seizure-free, 21% had worthwhile improvement and 17% no improvement. The outcome for patients with structural lesions was particularly good. Nine patients complained of mild memory impairment postoperatively and one had a severe amnestic problem. One patient with an unsuspected tumour developed a hemiparesis and dysphasia. One other patient had persistent dysphasia. No mortality was attributable to the surgery. It is concluded that ATL is an excellent operation for the treatment of intractable epilepsy arising from the temporal lobe and chronic subdural ECoG is a safe and reliable method for localizing the seizure origin.

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