Epilepsy surgery in children with focal cortical dysplasia (FCD): results of long-term seizure outcome

Neuropediatrics. 2002 Feb;33(1):21-6. doi: 10.1055/s-2002-23595.


The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of epilepsy surgery on seizure outcome in children and adolescents under 18 years with intractable epilepsy due to focal cortical dysplasia. We analysed clinical data, such as age at seizure onset, epilepsy course, localisation of focus from presurgical evaluation, MRI, tissue pathology and seizure outcome in 68 patients 6 months to 9 years after epilepsy surgery. Seizure outcome was classified according to the Engel classification. Mean age at seizure onset was 7 months, ranging from the first days of life to 7 years. All patients had medically intractable epilepsy. Localisation of the lesion was predominantly extratemporal: posterior (uni- or multilobar) 43 %, frontal without central region 26 %, multilobar involving central area 19 % and temporal in 12 %. MRI signs typically seen in cortical dysplasia (FCD) such as localised blurring of gray-white matter junction was found in 68 %, dysgyria in 62 %, thickening of the cortical ribbon in 46 % and T2 signal elongation of the subcortical white matter in 40 % of the patients' MRI. Age at surgery ranged from 5 months to 16 years; 14 patients were under 2 years when operated on. In 34 patients (6 patients under 3 years) subdural grid electrode evaluation was performed prior to surgery. Pathology revealed focal cortical dysplasia without balloon cells (type I) in 60 %, FCD of the balloon cell subtype (type II) in 40 % of the specimens. Postoperative complications were subdural hygroma in 5 and an increased motor deficit in 2 patients. Up to two years after epilepsy surgery 50 % of the children were seizure free (Engel class I), 10 % Engel class II, 33 % Engel class III and 7 % unchanged (Engel class IV). Long-term seizure outcome (> 3 years post surgery) in 32 patients showed similar results (class I 50 %, class II 19 %, class III 28 %, class IV 3 %). Complete resection of the dysplastic lesion was significantly correlated with favorable seizure outcome, whereas seizure outcome was not significantly different in patients with mild (type I) or balloon cell (type II) FCD. Children operated after 6 years of age had no better outcome than children operated in infancy or at preschool age. Epilepsy surgery resulted in good (class I and II) seizure control in 60 % of children with intractable epilepsy due to focal cortical dysplasia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cerebral Cortex / abnormalities*
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / surgery*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epilepsy / congenital*
  • Epilepsy / pathology
  • Epilepsy / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors