Efficiency of surgery on posttraumatic epilepsy: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Neurosurg Rev. 2023 Apr 18;46(1):91. doi: 10.1007/s10143-023-01997-3.


Posttraumatic epilepsy (PTE) accounts for approximately 20% of structural epilepsy, and surgical intervention may be a potential treatment option for these patients. Therefore, the purpose of this meta-analysis is to evaluate the effectiveness of surgical interventions for the management of PTE. Four electronic databases (Pubmed, Embase, Scopus and Cochrane library) were searched to identify studies on surgical management of PTE. Seizures reduction rate were analyzed quantitatively in a meta-analysis. Fourteen studies involving 430 PTE patients were selected for analysis, out of which 12 reported on resective surgery (RS), 2 on vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), and 2 of the 12 RS studies reported that 14 patients underwent VNS. The seizure reduction rate for surgical interventions (both RS and VNS) was 77.1% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 69.8%-83.7%) with moderate heterogeneity (I2 = 58.59%, Phetero = 0.003). Subgroup analysis based on different follow-up times revealed that the seizure reduction rate was 79.4% (95% CI: 69.1%-88.2%) within 5 years and 71.9% (95% CI: 64.5%-78.8%) beyond 5 years. The seizure reduction rate for RS alone was 79.9% (95% CI: 70.3%-88.2%) with high heterogeneity (I2 = 69.85%, Phetero = 0.001). Subgroup analysis showed that the seizure reduction rate was 77.9% (95% CI: 66%-88.1%) within 5 years and 85.6% (95% CI: 62.4%-99.2%) beyond 5 years, with 89.9% (95% CI: 79.2%-97.5%) for temporal lobectomy and 84% (95% CI: 68.2%-95.9%) for extratemporal lobectomy. The seizure reduction rate for VNS alone was 54.5% (95% CI: 31.6%-77.4%). Surgical interventions appeared to be effective for PTE patients without severe complications, RS seemed more beneficial than VNS, while temporal lobectomy is more favorable than extratemporal resection. However, further studies with long-term follow-up data are needed to better understand the relationship between VNS and PTE.

Keywords: Epilepsy surgery; Posttraumatic epilepsy; Resective surgery; Vagus nerve stimulation.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy* / surgery
  • Epilepsy* / surgery
  • Hemispherectomy* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seizures / surgery
  • Stereotaxic Techniques / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vagus Nerve Stimulation* / adverse effects