Seizures are a frequent sign of cerebral supratentorial tumors in children, especially when the location of the neoplasm is the temporal lobe. We report a series of 37 pediatric patients with temporal epileptogenic tumors. They represent 80.4% of children affected by temporal neoplasms, confirming the high incidence of seizures when neoplasms are located in this cerebral area. There was a slight male predominance. Epilepsy was the first symptom in all the patients of our series, as well as the only clinical manifestation present until surgery in 62% of patients. In the remaining children, hemiparesis, intracranial hypertension, psychosocial or neuropsychological disabilities, and delayed milestones arose before diagnosis and surgical treatment. The most frequent type of seizures was the partial complex (56%), but simple partial or generalized fits, as well as more than one type of seizures, were observed. The medial temporal structures were those more commonly involved, although seizures were observed also in cases where they were spared by tumors located exclusively in the temporal neocortex. On histology, most of the tumors showed a benign phenotype. Tumor resection was complete in 60% of cases; the excision of the tumor was incomplete in subjects whose lesion involved surgically inaccessible cerebral regions, as language areas, insular structures, and basal nuclei. As for epilepsy, 26 among the 32 long-term survivors can be classified in class I of Engel's classification; 4 of them did not receive any antiepileptic treatment. Four patients showed a significant reduction in the frequency of their fits. In 2 subjects, only the frequency of seizures was minimally reduced after tumor excision; in both, a partial removal of their tumor was performed. The relationship among the results on epilepsy and the extent of surgery removal of the tumor, brain tissue removal if any, frequency of seizures in the preoperative period and the time interval between the first epileptic manifestation and surgery show that the most significant prognostic element predictive of a good control of seizures is radical resection of the tumor.
Copyright 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.