Vagus nerve stimulation for refractory epilepsy in tuberous sclerosis

Pediatr Neurol. 2010 Jul;43(1):29-34. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2010.03.003.


The goal of the study was to assess the long-term seizure and neuropsychologic outcomes of patients with tuberous sclerosis and refractory epilepsy who received vagus nerve stimulator implantation. Eleven patients with a follow-up period of at least 12 months were studied retrospectively. The mean age at the time of implantation was 14 years (range, 2-35). Seizure outcome was rated as class I (>80% seizure frequency reduction) in 1 (9%), class II (50-79% reduction) in 7 (63%), and class III (<50% reduction) in 3 (27%). No patient experienced permanent adverse effects after the procedure. A significant increase of adaptive behaviors and quality of life was observed. Patients who had implantation during childhood exhibited a greater improvement in cognitive and neuropsychologic functioning. Vagus nerve stimulation can be considered an effective and safe therapeutic option in patients with tuberous sclerosis and refractory epilepsy who are not candidates for epilepsy surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epilepsy / complications
  • Epilepsy / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Quality of Life
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tuberous Sclerosis / complications*
  • Tuberous Sclerosis / therapy
  • Vagus Nerve Stimulation*