The number of patients with intractable epilepsy undergoing surgical management in China is increasing rapidly. We retrospectively reviewed 435 consecutive cases of intractable epilepsy receiving surgical resection from 2005 to 2008 in our hospital, looking specifically at the neuropathological findings. The three most common causes of intractable epilepsy were focal cortical dysplasia (FCD; 52.9%), scar lesions (22.8%) and brain tumors (11.7%). Hippocampal sclerosis was identified in 74 cases (17.0%), although most of these were accompanied by dual pathology with FCD (especially Palmini type IB), scar lesions or tumors. Among FCD cases, Palmini type I lesions are the most frequently observed abnormality, with a preferred location in the temporal lobe (60.1%) and often accompanied by dual pathology. In contrast, Palmini type II FCD lesions occurred predominantly in the frontal regions and with a lower age of onset. Most tumors were mixed neuronal-glial tumors, mainly ganglioglioma (19 cases) and dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor (10 cases), with a trend toward a temporal location and usually accompanied by cortical dysplasia in the peritumor area. Our data on the neuropathology of intractable epilepsy in China show that glioneuronal lesions are the most prominent cause of intractable epilepsy, and this is consistent with reports from other countries.
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