Neuropathologic findings in cortical resections (including hemispherectomies) performed for the treatment of intractable childhood epilepsy

Acta Neuropathol. 1992;83(3):246-59. doi: 10.1007/BF00296786.


Despite the use of hemispherectomy in the treatment of medically refractory seizures since the early 1950's, few studies published have documented neuropathologic findings in the resected specimens. This report describes the neuropathologic findings in 38 children who underwent either hemispherectomy or multilobar cortical resection as treatment for medically intractable epilepsy between 1986 and 1990. Examination of the resected specimens revealed a variety of abnormalities which fell into four broad categories. Malformations or hamartomatous lesions were the dominant finding in 15 patients, whereas encephalomalacic lesions were the most prominent abnormality in 16; chronic pathogen-free encephalitits (Rasmussen's encephalitis) was present in 3 and an additional 3 children had Sturge-Weber-Dimitri syndrome. There were no gross or microscopic abnormalities in 1 patient. This report provides the first comprehensive description of the pathologic findings in a series of children with refractory epilepsy of varying types treated by hemispherectomy-multilobar resection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Ischemia / complications
  • Brain Neoplasms / complications
  • Cerebral Cortex / abnormalities
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / surgery
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Encephalitis / complications
  • Encephalomalacia / complications
  • Epilepsy / etiology
  • Epilepsy / pathology*
  • Epilepsy / surgery
  • Hamartoma / complications
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia, Brain / complications
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Sturge-Weber Syndrome / complications