Purpose: To determine the frequency and lateralizing value of clinical seizure symptoms in children and adolescents with drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE).
Methods: Patients enrolled had to be <18 years of age and seizure free at follow-up for at least 12 months after epilepsy surgery. Patients were assigned to two age groups, children (age<12 years) and adolescents (age>12 and <18 years). Video-tapes were reviewed blinded to patients' demographic data and results of additional investigations by two independent raters. Clinical signs of known lateralizing significance in adults and additional clinical signs without lateralizing value were assessed.
Results: 14 patients (eight boys; 2-18 years) fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Inter-observer agreement was excellent (kappa coefficient: 0.82). Compared with adult series, no differences were found concerning overall occurrence of lateralizing signs and lateralizing accuracy. There were age-related differences, however, concerning the occurrence of individual signs: secondary generalization, complex automatisms and version were less frequent in children than in adolescents.
Conclusions: Clinical signs of lateralizing value can also be found in children and adolescents, provided that the evaluation protocols used consider developmental aspects.