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Vagus nerve stimulation in pediatric patients with failed epilepsy surgery

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Adequate control of pharmacoresistant epilepsy continues to be a challenge. Multiple studies have reported the benefits of epilepsy surgery and vagus nerve stimulation for children with pharmacoresistant epilepsy. Little is known about the role of vagus nerve stimulation for children with failed epilepsy surgeries. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of vagus nerve stimulation on seizure frequency reduction for children with failed epilepsy surgeries. We retrospectively reviewed 85 children with pharmacoresistant epilepsy who underwent vagus nerve stimulation. Six of these patients underwent epilepsy surgery before vagus nerve stimulation (group I) and 79 patients received only vagus nerve stimulation (group II). We recorded seizure frequency at 3, 12, 24 and 36 months after vagus nerve stimulator implantation. Both groups had reduced seizure frequencies at the 3-, 12-, 24- and 36-month follow-up (p = 0.044 for group I trends and 0.008 for group II trends). Vagus nerve stimulator implantations significantly improve seizure frequency for children with or without previous epilepsy surgery at 3, 12, 24 and 36 months. These findings suggest that vagus nerve stimulation should be considered an alternative therapy for pediatric patients with previous failed surgeries.

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The study was supported by Taiwan Child Neurology Society and Chung Shan Medical University (CSH-2016-a-018).

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Correspondence to Huei-Shyong Wang or Kuang-Lin Lin.

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The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, or publication of this article.

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Tsai, JD., Fan, PC., Lee, WT. et al. Vagus nerve stimulation in pediatric patients with failed epilepsy surgery. Acta Neurol Belg 121, 1305–1309 (2021).

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