, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 489-498
Date: 10 Feb 2006

Anatomical hemispherectomy for intractable seizures: excellent seizure control, low morbidity and no superficial cerebral haemosiderosis

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This current study was performed to evaluate whether superficial cerebral haemosiderosis (SCH) is still a complication of modern day anatomical hemispherectomy.


We report a 13-year institutional experience with anatomical hemispherectomy for intractable epilepsy. Seizure control at a mean follow-up interval of 7 years was 83%. Though one patient died post-operatively from a non-neurosurgical complication, mortality was otherwise zero and morbidity minimal. The much-described complication of SCH following anatomical hemispherectomy was non-existent. We explain the history of SCH as a complication of anatomical hemispherectomy, and the measures that are presently taken to prevent it.


We suggest that the importance of SCH in modern epilepsy surgery is probably over-emphasised.

A commentary on this paper is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00381-005-0024-0