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Pediatric epilepsy surgery from 2000 to 2018: Changes in referral and surgical volumes, patient characteristics, genetic testing, and postsurgical outcomes

Eriksson, Maria H; Whitaker, Kirstie J; Booth, John; Piper, Rory J; Chari, Aswin; Martin Sanfilippo, Patricia; Caballero, Ana Perez; ... Baldeweg, Torsten; + view all (2023) Pediatric epilepsy surgery from 2000 to 2018: Changes in referral and surgical volumes, patient characteristics, genetic testing, and postsurgical outcomes. Epilepsia 10.1111/epi.17670. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Neurosurgery is a safe and effective form of treatment for select children with drug-resistant epilepsy. Still, there is concern that it remains underutilized, and that seizure freedom rates have not improved over time. We investigated referral and surgical practices, patient characteristics, and postoperative outcomes over the past two decades. METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study of children referred for epilepsy surgery at a tertiary center between 2000 and 2018. We extracted information from medical records and analyzed temporal trends using regression analyses. RESULTS: A total of 1443 children were evaluated for surgery. Of these, 859 (402 females) underwent surgical resection or disconnection at a median age of 8.5 years (interquartile range [IQR] = 4.6-13.4). Excluding palliative procedures, 67% of patients were seizure-free and 15% were on no antiseizure medication (ASM) at 1-year follow-up. There was an annual increase in the number of referrals (7%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 5.3-8.6; p < .001) and surgeries (4% [95% CI = 2.9-5.6], p < .001) over time. Duration of epilepsy and total number of different ASMs trialed from epilepsy onset to surgery were, however, unchanged, and continued to exceed guidelines. Seizure freedom rates were also unchanged overall but showed improvement (odds ratio [OR] 1.09, 95% CI = 1.01-1.18; p = .027) after adjustment for an observed increase in complex cases. Children who underwent surgery more recently were more likely to be off ASMs postoperatively (OR 1.04, 95% CI = 1.01-1.08; p = .013). There was a 17% annual increase (95% CI = 8.4-28.4, p < .001) in children identified to have a genetic cause of epilepsy, which was associated with poor outcome. SIGNIFICANCE: Children with drug-resistant epilepsy continue to be put forward for surgery late, despite national and international guidelines urging prompt referral. Seizure freedom rates have improved over the past decades, but only after adjustment for a concurrent increase in complex cases. Finally, genetic testing in epilepsy surgery patients has expanded considerably over time and shows promise in identifying patients in whom surgery is less likely to be successful.

Type: Article
Title: Pediatric epilepsy surgery from 2000 to 2018: Changes in referral and surgical volumes, patient characteristics, genetic testing, and postsurgical outcomes
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/epi.17670
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/epi.17670
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Keywords: Antiseizure medication, epilepsy surgery, outcome, pediatric, trends
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > ICH - Directors Office
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Developmental Neurosciences Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10174231
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