Objective Direct electrical stimulations of cerebral cortex are a traditional part of stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) practice, but their value as a predictive factor for seizure outcome has never been carefully investigated.
Patients and method We retrospectively analysed a cohort of 346 patients operated on for drug-resistant focal epilepsy after SEEG exploration. As potential predictors we included: aetiology, MRI data, age of onset, duration of epilepsy, age at surgery, topography of surgery and whether a seizure was induced by either low frequency electrical stimulation (LFS) or high frequency electrical stimulation.
Results Of 346 patients, 63.6% had good outcome (no seizure recurrence, Engel I). Univariate analysis demonstrated significant correlation with favourable outcome (Engel I) for: aetiology, positive MRI and seizure induced by stimulation. At multivariate analysis, informative MRI, type II focal cortical dysplasia and tumour reduced the risk of seizure recurrence (SR) by 47%, 58% and 81%, respectively. Compared with the absence of induced seizures, the occurrence of ictal events after LFS significantly predicts a favourable outcome on seizures, with only 44% chance of disabling SR at last follow-up.
Conclusion Among the already known predictors outcome, seizure induction by LFS therefore represents a positive predictive factor for seizure outcome after surgery.
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