Twenty-three infants and children underwent cortical resection (n = 15) or hemispherectomy (n = 8) for intractable infantile spasms. Infantile spasms were present at the time of surgery in 17 of the 23 patients; in six, spasms had evolved to other seizure types during surgical evaluation. Children with a remote history of infantile spasms were excluded from this study. Focal or hemispheric lesions were identified by magnetic resonance imaging in seven children; an additional two showed focal atrophy without a discrete lesion. Positron emission tomography (PET) showed lateralized or localized abnormalities of cerebral glucose utilization in all patients; in 14, PET was the only neuroimaging modality to identify the epileptogenic cortex. When this occurred, neuropathological examination of resected brain tissue typically showed malformative and dysplastic cortical lesions. Focal interictal and/or ictal electrographic abnormalities were present in all patients, and corresponded well with localization from neuroimaging. None of the patients were subjected to chronic invasive electrographic monitoring with intracranial electrodes. At follow-up (range 4-67 months; mean 28.3 months), 15 children were seizure-free, three had 90% seizure control, one had 75% seizure control, and four failed to benefit from surgery with respect to seizure frequency.