De novo psychogenic nonepileptic seizures after epilepsy surgery

Epilepsia. 1998 May;39(5):474-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.1998.tb01408.x.


Purpose: The occurrence of de novo nonepileptic seizures (NES) after epilepsy surgery have been reported only twice in the literature (one article and one abstract).

Methods: We report three patients whose de novo NES were documented by video-EEG telemetry after epilepsy surgery. These patients were drawn from a sample of 166 consecutive patients who underwent epilepsy surgery at our center between 1989 and 1996.

Results: Two patients became seizure free after surgery, and one had significant improvement of her seizures. The interval between the date of surgery and the development of the symptoms was variable (8, 10, and 47 months, respectively). The clinical phenomena of NES differed from those of the epileptic seizures preceding surgery. Their diagnosis had not been suspected in two patients before the diagnostic video-EEG monitoring study. After the diagnosis of NES, spells stopped in two patients and recurred rarely in one.

Conclusions: We conclude that de novo NES appears to occur rarely after epilepsy surgery. Given that the possibility of NES was suspected in only one patient, its incidence after surgery may be higher than so far reported. Physicians should therefore consider NES in the differential diagnosis of recurrent seizures after a seizure-free period after epilepsy surgery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy, Complex Partial / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Seizures / diagnosis*
  • Seizures / etiology
  • Somatoform Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Somatoform Disorders / etiology
  • Temporal Lobe / surgery*
  • Videotape Recording