Neurosurgical Review

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 389–405 | Cite as

Rates and predictors of seizure freedom in resective epilepsy surgery: an update



Epilepsy is a debilitating neurological disorder affecting approximately 1 % of the world’s population. Drug-resistant focal epilepsies are potentially surgically remediable. Although epilepsy surgery is dramatically underutilized among medically refractory patients, there is an expanding collection of evidence supporting its efficacy which may soon compel a paradigm shift. Of note is that a recent randomized controlled trial demonstrated that early resection leads to considerably better seizure outcomes than continued medical therapy in patients with pharmacoresistant temporal lobe epilepsy. In the present review, we provide a timely update of seizure freedom rates and predictors in resective epilepsy surgery, organized by the distinct pathological entities most commonly observed. Class I evidence, meta-analyses, and individual observational case series are considered, including the experiences of both our institution and others. Overall, resective epilepsy surgery leads to seizure freedom in approximately two thirds of patients with intractable temporal lobe epilepsy and about one half of individuals with focal neocortical epilepsy, although only the former observation is supported by class I evidence. Two common modifiable predictors of postoperative seizure freedom are early operative intervention and, in the case of a discrete lesion, gross total resection. Evidence-based practice guidelines recommend that epilepsy patients who continue to have seizures after trialing two or more medication regimens should be referred to a comprehensive epilepsy center for multidisciplinary evaluation, including surgical consideration.


Epilepsy surgery Resection Review Seizure outcome 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UCSF Comprehensive Epilepsy CenterUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Neurological SurgeryUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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