The purpose of this paper is to present a long- term electroclinical and employment follow up in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) patients in a comprehensive epilepsy surgery program. Forty adult patients with pharmacoresistant TLE underwent detailed presurgical evaluation. Electroencephalogram (EEG) and clinical follow up assessment for each patient were carried out. The occurrence of interictal epileptiform activity (IEA) and absolute spike frequency (ASF) were tabulated before and after 1, 6, 12, 24 and 72 months surgical treatment. Employment status pre- to post-surgery at the last evaluated period was also examined. Engel scores follow-up was described as follows: at 12 months 70% (28) class I, 10% (4) class II and 19% (8) class III-IV; at 24 months after surgery 55.2% (21) of the patients were class I, 28.9% (11) class II and 15.1% (6) class III-IV. After one- year follow up 23 (57.7%) patients were seizure and aura-free (Engel class IA). These figures changed to 47.3%, and 48.6% respectively two and five years following surgery whereas 50% maintained this condition in the last follow up period. A decline in the ASF was observed from the first year until the sixth year after surgery in relation to the preoperative EEG. The ASF one year after surgery allowed to distinguish "satisfactory" from "unsatisfactory" seizure relief outcome at the last follow up. An adequate social functioning in terms of education and employment in more than 50% of the patients was also found. Results revealed the feasibility of conducting a successful epilepsy surgery program with favorable long term electroclinical and psychosocial functioning outcomes in a developing country as well.
Keywords: Electroencephalogram interictal epileptiform discharge; employment; epilepsy surgery; long term follow up; temporal lobe epilepsy.