Surgery is the treatment of choice for refractory temporal lobe epilepsies, but unexpected seizure recurrences occur and the AEDs management strategy may be an implicated factor. We evaluated the AEDs management's role in the outcome of post surgical epilepsy patients with hippocampal sclerosis (HS). Epileptic patients submitted to amigdalohippocampectomy due to HS in Engel class IA 12 months after surgery were selected. The following variables were studied: age, gender, time of post-surgical follow-up, present Engel class, number of antiepileptic AEDs before surgery and at the time of the interview, AED changes after surgery (stopped, increased, decreased, maintained), timing for AED changes after surgery and seizure recurrences. Sixty-seven consecutive patients were studied (mean time of follow-up of 4.9 ± 2.8 years). Among these, 46.3% were tapering AEDs, 38.8% had not changed and 14.9% had increased AEDs. The global recurrence rate was 32.8%. Recurrence rates for patients tapering and not tapering AEDs were similar (34.2% and 31%, respectively). Fifteen patients tapered AEDs before 2 years and 20 at or 2 years after surgery, with similar recurrence rates (33% and 30%, respectively). All patients who recurred due to AED tapering and 66.7% of the patients who recurred with no AED reduction resumed the Engel class I. This study suggests that in HS patients submitted to AHE who are seizure free during the first postsurgical year, AEDs tapering is achieved in a substantial percentage of patients. Tapering AEDs, independently of its timing, will induce seizure recurrence in about a third of patients. However, patients relapsing after tapering AEDs regain control after resuming therapy.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.