Vagus Nerve Stimulation Electrode Impedance Over Time in Children With Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome

Neuromodulation. 2024 Jun;27(4):789-791. doi: 10.1016/j.neurom.2023.06.006. Epub 2023 Jul 24.


Objective: This manuscript describes the behavior of impedance of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) electrode over time in a cohort of children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

Materials and methods: Nineteen consecutive pediatric patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome submitted to VNS were studied. All patients had at least four years of follow-up. Serial impedance measurements were carried out during every out-patient visit. A baseline value was obtained one month after surgery, before generator activation and yearly values were recorded for the next four years. Outcome regarding seizures was obtained through analysis of standardized seizure diaries filled out by the patient, relatives, or caregivers.

Results: There were 12 boys. Age ranged from four to 14 years (mean = 7.2). Mean impedance value was 2635 Ω at baseline, 2576 Ω after one year, 2418 Ω after two years, 2340 Ω after three years, and 2241 Ω after four years. There was a mean impedance decrease of 17% after four years. This decrease was statistically significant compared with baseline by the second year of follow-up: p = 0.342 after one year, p = 0.007 after two years, p = 0.001 after three years, and p = 0.001 after four years. There was no significant relationship between impedance values and seizure outcome at any time point.

Conclusions: VNS electrode impedance significantly decreased during long-term follow-up in children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. To our knowledge, this is the first report on such findings regarding VNS in the literature. These findings suggest that the electrode/nerve interface is stable during long-term follow-up of VNS therapy and that this preserved anatomical relationship might be related to our ability to safely stimulate and review/explant the system whenever needed.

Keywords: Epilepsy; Lennox-Gastaut; VNS; impedance; outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Electric Impedance
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lennox Gastaut Syndrome* / therapy
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vagus Nerve Stimulation* / instrumentation
  • Vagus Nerve Stimulation* / methods