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Panminerva Medica 2013 June;55(2):225-38

language: English

Focal epilepsies associated with glioneuronal tumors: review article

Giulioni M. 1, Rubboli G. 2, Marucci G. 3, Martinoni M. 1, Marliani A. F. 4, Bartiromo F. 4, Calbucci F. 1

1 Division of Neurosurgery, IRCCS, Bellaria Hospital, Bologna, Italy;
2 Divisions of Neurosurgery and Neurology, Department of Neurosciences, Bellaria Hospital, Bologna, Italy;
3 Sections of Pathology, Department of Oncology, Bellaria Hospital, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy;
4 Division of Neuroradiology, Institute of Neurological Sciences, Bellaria Hospital, Bologna, Italy


Glioneuronal tumors (GNTs) are an increasingly recognized cause of focal epilepsies, particularly in children and young adults. GNTs consist of a mixture of glial and neuronal elements and most commonly arise in the temporal lobe, particularly in the temporo-anterior-basal mesial site. They are often associated with cortical dysplasia or other neuronal migration abnormalities. Epilepsy associated with GNT is poorly controlled by antiepileptic drugs in many cases; but, it is extremely responsive to surgical treatment. However, the best management strategy of tumor-related focal epilepsies remains controversial and still remain one of the contemporary issues in epilepsy surgery. Temporo-mesial GNT are associated with a widespread epileptic network, defining, therefore, a distinct anatomo-clinico-pathological group with complex epileptogenic mechanisms. By using an epilepsy surgery oriented strategy GNT associated with focal epilepsies may have an excellent seizure outcome and, therefore, surgical treatment can be offered early to avoid both the consequences of uncontrolled seizures as well as the side effects of prolonged pharmacological therapy and the rare risk of tumor growth or malignant transformation.

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