Surgical outcome for focal cortical dysplasia: an analysis of recent surgical series

J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2010 Nov;6(5):452-8. doi: 10.3171/2010.8.PEDS10145.


Object: Focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) is an important cause of intractable epilepsy and is at times treatable by resection. The now widespread use of MR imaging and recent advancement of functional imaging have increased the number of patients undergoing surgical treatment for FCD. The objective of this review is to critically examine and to provide a summary of surgical series on FCD published since 2000.

Methods: Studies concerning surgery for FCD were identified from MEDLINE and references of selected articles and book chapters. Data from these included studies were summarized and analyzed to identify factors correlated with seizure outcome.

Results: Sixteen studies were identified, and 469 patients met our selection criteria. Seizure-free outcome at 1-year postoperatively was achieved in 59.7% of the patients. Children and adults were equally likely to benefit from the surgery. Complete resection (OR 13.7, 95% CI 6.68-28.1; p < 0.0001) and temporal location (OR 2.15, 95% CI 1.26-3.69; p = 0.0073) were two positive prognostic indicators of seizure-free outcome. Utilization of invasive monitoring did not affect the chance of seizure remission, but firm conclusions could not be drawn because patients were not randomized.

Conclusions: The advancement of modern imaging has transformed the process of surgical candidate selection for partial epilepsy due to FCD. Patients from recent surgical series were more homogeneous in their clinical presentations and might represent FCD as an independent pathological entity. This likely explained the improved surgical outcome for this group of patients. These reports also documented the increased utilization of functional imaging, but their efficacy needs to be verified with further studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / surgery
  • Child
  • Epilepsies, Partial / pathology
  • Epilepsies, Partial / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Malformations of Cortical Development / pathology
  • Malformations of Cortical Development / surgery*
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Prognosis
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology
  • Temporal Lobe / surgery