Purpose: We report 12 infants who had frontal (n = 3), temporal (n = 2), or temporoparieto-occipital (n = 2) resection or functional hemispherectomies (n = 5) at age 2.5-29 (mean 15.3) months for catastrophic epilepsy due to focal cortical dysplasia (n = 5), Sturge-Weber syndrome (n = 3), ganglioglioma (n = 3), or hemimegalencephaly (n = 1). Seizures began at 1 day to 14 months (mean, 4.0 months) after birth, occurred frequently (often many times per day, and were refractory to antiepileptic drugs. Patients were evaluated for surgery at 2.5-24 (mean 12.4) months of age. Seven patients had hemiparesis and eight had slowed cognitive development. Seizures were characterized by arrest or marked reduction of behavioral motor activity with unclear level of consciousness (n = 4, with temporal or temporoparietal EEG seizures), focal clonic activity (n = 3, with perirolandic EEG seizures), generalized tonic stiffening (n = 3, with temporoparieto-occipital, parietal, or frontal EEG seizures), or infantile spasms and hypsarrhythmia (n = 2, with a frontal tumor or temporoparieto-occipital cortical dysplasia). Methods: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed the epileptogenic lesion in all but two patients, both with cortical dysplasia localized by interictal positron- emission tomography (PET) and other clinical or EEG features and confirmed on histopathologic examination of resected tissue. Results: At follow-up 4-86 (mean 32) months after surgery, six patients were seizure free (Engel outcome class I), three had rare seizures with none in at least the previous 6 months (Engel class II), and two had worthwhile improvement (Engel class III). Except for the severely developmentally delayed infant with hemimegalencephaly, several patients had marked 'catch-up' developmental progress after class I, II, or III outcome. Postoperative complications included subdural hematoma over the contralateral hemisphere (one patient) and entrapment and enlargement of the ipsilateral temporal horn (one patient) after hemispherectomy, both corrected uneventfully with a second surgical procedure. One patient died of unexplained causes several hours after frontal lobectomy. No patients had new neurologic deficits after surgery, and one patient had resolution of progressive fluctuating hemiparesis after resection of temporoparieto-occipital cortical dysplasia. Conclusions: Our results agree with previous reports that epilepsy surgery can provide relief from catastrophic epilepsy in carefully selected infants.
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