Paediatric epilepsy surgery in a middle-income country: the red cross war memorial children's hospital experience

Master Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Purpose While epilepsy surgery has been shown to reduce seizure frequency and severity and even cures seizures in children with drug-resistant epilepsy, data from middle-income countries (MIC) are lacking. Method This study is a retrospective review of children with drug-resistant epilepsy who underwent surgical treatment at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital (RCWMCH) between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2021 (HREC: 140/2020). Results During the 21-year study period, 60 patients underwent epilepsy surgery for drugresistant epilepsy. The median age of the children was seven years (IQR 4.81-10.27years) at the time of surgery, with a male predominance of 33 patients. The most common surgical procedure performed was an anterior temporal lobectomy for temporal lobe epilepsy in 19 cases (31.7%), followed by peri-insular hemispherotomy in 9 cases (15.0%) and frontal lobectomy in 8 cases (13.3%). Of the 60 patients, complete records were available for 55 patients noting complications in 11 (20.0%), of which 4 cases (7.3%) had major complications. Notably, 2 patients (3.6%) had new-onset psychiatric symptoms. The long term outcomes after surgery showed 1-year seizure freedom in 32 patients (58.2%); among these, 21 patients (38.2%) could stop ASM one year after surgery, 17 patients (30.9%) had a recurrence of their seizures, and three had to restart ASM after 2-3 years. Eight patients (14.5%) required repeat surgery. The one-year-Modified Engel scoring for the study population was: 1-A in 52.7%, I-B in 3.6%, I-C in 1.8%, II-A in 15.8%, III-A in 10.9%, IV-A in 3.6% and IV-B in 10.9%. The most common histological finding in anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) was focal cortical dysplasia (FCD), found in 11 patients (57.9%). The periinsular hemispherotomy (PIH) cases had equal numbers of FCD and Rasmussen's encephalitis in 4 patients (44.4%). The number of FCD in this series is much higher than in international data. Conclusion Epilepsy surgery is an effective and attainable intervention for drug-resistant epilepsy in the paediatric population despite limited resources and challenging aetiological profiles. Low complication rates were comparable to international data, with good seizure freedom outcomes.