Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is approved by the FDA for the treatment of partial epilepsy in patients older than 12 years. Authors of the current study performed a large retrospective analysis and comparison of VNS outcomes in children with an age ≥ and < 12 years, including those with partial and generalized epilepsy.
A retrospective review of the records of pediatric patients (age < 18 years) who had undergone primary VNS system implantation between 2001 and 2010 by a single pediatric neurosurgeon was undertaken. Considered data included demographics, epilepsy type (partial vs generalized), seizure frequency, seizure duration, postictal period duration, and antiepileptic medication use.
One hundred forty-six patients (49% female) were followed up for a mean of 41 months after VNS implantation. Thirty-two percent of patients had partial epilepsy and 68% had generalized epilepsy. After VNS system implantation, seizure frequency was reduced in 91% of patients, seizure duration in 50%, postictal period in 49%, and antiepileptic medication use in 75%. There was no significant difference in age, sex, or duration of follow-up according to epilepsy type. Neither was there any significant difference in seizure frequency reduction, seizure duration, postictal period, medication use, overall clinical improvement, or improvement in quality of life based on an age ≥ or < 12 years or epilepsy type.
Vagus nerve stimulation reduced both seizure frequency and antiepileptic medication use in the majority of pediatric patients regardless of sex, age cohort, or epilepsy type. Vagus nerve stimulation also reduced seizure duration and postictal period in approximately half of the pediatric patients. Contrary to expectation, children with partial epilepsy do not benefit from VNS at higher rates than those with generalized epilepsy.
Abbreviations used in this paper:AVM = arteriovenous malformation; IVH = intraventricular hemorrhage; TBI = traumatic brain injury; VNS = vagus nerve stimulation.
* Dr. Thompson and Ms. Wozniak contributed equally to this work.
Address correspondence to: Nathan R. Selden, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Neurological Surgery, Oregon Health & Science University, 3303 SW Bond Avenue, CH8N, Portland, Oregon 97239. email: email@example.com.
Please include this information when citing this paper: published online July 6, 2012; DOI: 10.3171/2012.5.PEDS11489.
ElliottRERodgersSDBassaniLMorsiAGellerEBCarlsonC: Vagus nerve stimulation for children with treatment-resistant epilepsy: a consecutive series of 141 cases. Clinical article. J Neurosurg Pediatr7:491–5002011
ElliottRE, RodgersSD, BassaniL, MorsiA, GellerEB, CarlsonC, : Vagus nerve stimulation for children with treatment-resistant epilepsy: a consecutive series of 141 cases. Clinical article. 7:491–500, 2011)| false
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