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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2019 February;63(1):50-60

DOI: 10.23736/S0390-5616.18.04448-X

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Surgical treatment for refractory epilepsy

Johannes HERTA, Christian DORFER

Department of Neurosurgery, Vienna General Hospital, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria



The goal of any epilepsy surgery is to improve patient’s quality of life by achieving seizure freedom or by reducing the frequency of severely debilitating seizures. To achieve this goal, non-invasive and invasive diagnostic methods must precisely delineate the epileptogenic zone (EZ), which is defined as the area that needs to be resected to obtain seizure freedom. At the same time, the correct identification of eloquent brain areas is inevitable to avoid new neurological deficits from surgery. In recent years, the technical advances in diagnostics have enabled us to achieve these goals in an increasing number of cases. As a consequence, and with new surgical treatment options available, the number of patients who might benefit from epilepsy surgery is constantly increasing. Especially in pediatric epilepsy, early surgical intervention is becoming frequently advocated as it has been shown to improve cognitive and behavioral outcome. Specialized epilepsy centers and multidisciplinary teams are required to provide adequate care and treatment. The goal of this review is to describe important diseases that are accessible to epilepsy surgery and to give an overview of current diagnostic methods. The focus lies on established as well as novel techniques in epilepsy surgery. The presurgical work-up and patient selection is outlined.


KEY WORDS: Epilepsy - Drug-resistant epilepsy - Preoperative period

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