A recent U.S. study reported that the number of epilepsy surgeries has remained stable or declined in recent years despite an increase in pre-surgical evaluation. This study aimed to evaluate trends in pre-surgical evaluation and epilepsy surgery from 2001 to 2019 and to determine whether these trends have changed in the later period (2014–2019) compared to earlier period (2001–2013).
This study evaluated trends in pre-surgical evaluation and epilepsy surgery at a tertiary pediatric epilepsy center. Children with drug resistant epilepsy who were evaluated for surgery were included. Clinical data, reasons for not undergoing surgery, and surgical characteristics of surgery patients were collected. Overall trends and trends in later period compared to earlier period for pre-surgical evaluation and epilepsy surgery were assessed.
There were 1151 children who were evaluated for epilepsy surgery and 546 underwent surgery. There was an upward trend in pre-surgical evaluation in the earlier period (rate ratio [RR]=1.04 (95%CI:1.02–1.07), p<0.001) and the trajectory of presurgical evaluation in the later period was not significantly different to the earlier period (RR=1.00 [95%CI:0.95–1.06], p = 0.88). Among the reasons for not undergoing surgery, failure to localize the seizures occurred more frequently in later period than earlier period (22.6% vs. 17.1% respectively, p = 0.024). For number of surgeries, there was an upward trend between 2001 and 2013 (RR=1.08 [95%CI:1.05–1.11], p<0.001), and a decreasing trend in the later period compared to earlier period (RR=0.91 [95%CI:0.84–0.99], p = 0.029).
Associate Scientist, CHEO Research Institute