Epilepsy surgery for polymicrogyria: a challenge to be undertaken

Epileptic Disord. 2018 Oct 1;20(5):319-338. doi: 10.1684/epd.2018.1004.


Polymicrogyria (PMG) is one of the most common malformations of cortical development (MCDs), with epilepsy affecting most patients. PMG-related drug-resistant epilepsy patients can be considered for epilepsy surgery in well-selected cases. In this context, a comprehensive presurgical evaluation, often including stereo-electroencephalography (SEEG), is warranted to accurately delineate the epileptogenic zone. The heterogeneity of intrinsic epileptogenicity in PMG, together with the additional or predominant involvement of remote cortical areas, calls for a different strategy in PMG compared to other MCDs, namely one that is not predominantly MRI- but rather SEEG-oriented. Favourable results in terms of seizure freedom and antiepileptic drug cessation are feasible in a large proportion of patients with unilateral PMG. PMG extent should not deter from exploring the possibility of epilepsy surgery. On the other hand, patients with hemispheric PMG can be excellent hemispherotomy candidates, particularly when presenting with contralateral hemiparesis. Recent findings support the early consideration of surgery in PMG-related drug-resistant epilepsy.

Keywords: cortical malformation; drug-resistant epilepsy; epilepsy surgery; polymicrogyria; seizure freedom; stereo-electroencephalography.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy / diagnosis
  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy / etiology
  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy / physiopathology
  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy / surgery*
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Humans
  • Polymicrogyria / complications
  • Polymicrogyria / diagnosis
  • Polymicrogyria / physiopathology
  • Polymicrogyria / surgery*
  • Stereotaxic Techniques*