Intractable epilepsy and structural lesions of the brain: mapping, resection strategies, and seizure outcome

Epilepsia. 1991 Mar-Apr;32(2):179-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.1991.tb05242.x.


Forty-seven patients with structural brain lesions on neuroimaging studies and partial epilepsy intractable to medical therapy were studied. Prolonged noninvasive interictal and ictal EEG recording was performed, followed by more focused mapping using chronically implanted subdural electrode plates. Surgical procedures included lesion biopsy, maximal lesion excision, and/or resection of zones of epileptogenesis depending on accessibility and involvement of speech or other functional areas. The epileptogenic zone involved exclusively the region adjacent to the structural lesion in 11 patients. It extended beyond the lesion in 18 patients. Eighteen other patients had remote noncontiguous zones of epileptogenesis. Postoperative control of epilepsy was accomplished in 17 of 18 patients (94%) with complete lesion excision regardless of extent of seizure focus excision. Postoperative control of epilepsy was accomplished in 5 of 6 patients (83%) with incomplete lesion excision but complete seizure focus excision and in 12 of 23 patients (52%) with incomplete lesion excision and incomplete focus excision. The extent of lesion resection was strongly associated with surgical outcome either in itself (p less than 0.003), or in combination with focus excision. Focus resection was marginally associated with surgical outcome as a dichotomous variable (p = 0.048) and showed a trend toward significance (p = 0.07) only as a three-level outcome variable. We conclude that structural lesions are associated with zones of epileptogenesis in neighboring and remote areas of the brain. Maximum resection of the lesion offers the best chance at controlling intractable epilepsy; however, seizure control is achieved in many patients by carefully planned subtotal resection of lesions or foci.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / surgery
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsies, Partial / pathology*
  • Epilepsies, Partial / physiopathology
  • Epilepsies, Partial / surgery
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / pathology
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Stereotaxic Techniques
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology
  • Temporal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Temporal Lobe / surgery