The objective of this study was to compare complications, seizures, and neuropsychological outcomes after resective epilepsy surgery in patients ≥ 60 years of age who underwent operations to younger and matched controls.
Charts of 2243 patients were screened for operated patients in the authors’ center between 2000 and 2015. Patients with available postsurgical follow-up data who were operated on at the age of 60 years or older and matched (by gender, histopathology, and side of surgery) controls who were between 20 and 40 years of age at the time of surgery were included. Outcomes regarding postoperative seizure control were scored according to the Engel classification and group comparisons were performed by using chi-square statistics.
Data of 20 older patients were compared to those of 60 younger controls. Postoperative seizure control was favorable in the majority of the elderly patients (Engel classes I and II: 75% at 12 months, 65% at last follow-up), but the proportion of patients with favorable outcome tended to be larger in the control group (Engel classes I and II: 90% at 12 months, p = 0.092; 87% at last follow-up, p = 0.032, chi-square test). The surgical complication rate was higher in the elderly population (65% vs 27%, p = 0.002), but relevant persistent deficits occurred in 2 patients of each group only. Neuropsychological and behavioral assessments displayed considerable preoperative impairment and additional postoperative worsening, particularly of verbal skills, memory (p < 0.05), and mood in the elderly.
The overall favorable postsurgical outcome regarding seizure control and the moderate risk of disabling persistent neurological deficits in elderly patients supports the view that advanced age should not be a barrier per se for resective epilepsy surgery and underscores the importance of an adequate presurgical evaluation and of referral of elderly patients to presurgical assessment.
INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online October 8, 2021; DOI: 10.3171/2021.4.JNS204013.
Disclosures Dr. Elger has served as a paid consultant for Desitin, Pfizer, and UCB Pharma. Dr. Surges has received fees as a speaker from Arvelle, Bial, Desitin, Eisai, Livanova, Novartis, UCB Pharma, and UNEEG, and has served as a consultant to Arvelle, Bial, Eisai, Livanova, UCB Pharma, and UNEEG. Dr. Rácz has received fees as a speaker or served as a consultant to UCB Pharma. Dr. Hampel has received fees as a speaker or served as a consultant to Bial, Eisai, and UCB Pharma. Dr. Helmstaedter reports personal fees as a speaker or consultant from UCB Pharma, Eisai, Desitin Pharma, GW-Pharma, and Precisis outside the submitted work.
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