Preoperative IQ predicts seizure outcomes after anterior temporal lobectomy

Seizure. 2009 Nov;18(9):639-43. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2009.07.009. Epub 2009 Aug 25.


Purpose: IQ tests are frequently used in the preoperative neuropsychological assessment of candidates for anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL). We reviewed IQ test results and surgery outcomes to evaluate the roles of IQ tests in the preoperative work-up.

Methods: A total of 205 adult patients who had undergone ATL and whose seizure outcomes were followed for 2 years after surgery were included. The short form WAIS-R was used to estimate intelligence. Multiple linear regression and logistic regression analyses were used to examine the variables for IQ and seizure outcomes.

Results: Education, duration of epilepsy and gender were factors that accounted for 24.6% of the variance in the full-scale IQ (FSIQ) scores. The verbal IQ and performance IQ discrepancies at various magnitudes could not lateralize the seizure foci. Freedom of seizure was noted in 128 (62.4%) of the patients. Seizure outcomes, however, correlated with the preoperative FSIQ. After adjustment for variables that affect seizure outcomes, the FSIQ was an independent predictor of postoperative seizure outcomes (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.01-1.06, p=0.003). Of patients who had FSIQ lower than 70, 50% became free from seizures by 2 years after surgery.

Conclusions: In our study, IQ tests were unable to lateralize seizure foci but may serve as an independent predictor of postoperative seizure outcomes. Since a longer duration of epilepsy had deleterious effects on intelligence, earlier surgical intervention might better preserve neuropsychological function and, consequently, allow better seizure control after ATL. Nonetheless, patients with lower IQ scores could still benefit from ATL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Temporal Lobectomy / adverse effects*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / complications
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Preoperative Period
  • Seizures / etiology
  • Seizures / surgery*
  • Wechsler Scales