Nikhil Bellamkonda, H. Westley Phillips, Jia-Shu Chen, Alexander M. Tucker, Cassia Maniquis, Gary W. Mathern, and Aria Fallah
Rasmussen encephalitis (RE) is a rare inflammatory neurological disorder typically involving one hemisphere and resulting in drug-resistant epilepsy and progressive neurological decline. Here, the authors present seizure outcomes in children who underwent epilepsy surgery for RE at a single institution.
The records of consecutive patients who had undergone epilepsy surgery for RE at the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital between 1982 and 2018 were retrospectively reviewed. Basic demographic information, seizure history, procedural notes, and postoperative seizure and functional outcome data were analyzed.
The cohort included 44 patients, 41 of whom had sufficient data for analysis. Seizure freedom was achieved in 68%, 48%, and 22% of the patients at 1, 5, and 10 years, respectively. The median time to the first seizure for those who experienced seizure recurrence after surgery was 39 weeks (IQR 11–355 weeks). Anatomical hemispherectomy, as compared to functional hemispherectomy, was independently associated with a longer time to postoperative seizure recurrence (HR 0.078, p = 0.03). There was no statistically significant difference in postoperative seizure recurrence between patients with complete hemispherectomy and those who had less-than-hemispheric surgery. Following surgery, 68% of the patients could ambulate and 84% could speak regardless of operative intervention.
A large proportion of RE patients will have seizure relapse after surgery, though patients with anatomical hemispherectomies may have a longer time to postoperative seizure recurrence. Overall, the long-term data in this study suggest that hemispheric surgery can be seen as palliative treatment for seizures rather than a cure for RE.
William B. Harris, H. Westley Phillips, Jia Shu Chen, Alexander G. Weil, George M. Ibrahim, and Aria Fallah
The objective of this study was to perform an individual participant data meta-analysis to identify preoperative factors associated with a good seizure outcome in children with Rasmussen’s encephalitis (RE) undergoing resective or hemispheric epilepsy surgery.
Electronic databases (PubMed, Web of Science, CINAHL) were searched with no language or date restrictions to identify cohort studies of consecutive participants undergoing resective surgery that reported seizure outcomes. The authors recorded all preoperative factors that could plausibly be associated with seizure outcomes and used Cox regression analysis to identify which of these variables were associated with seizure freedom (i.e., Engel class I).
Of 720 citations, 19 articles reporting on 187 participants were eligible. Seizure freedom (Engel class I) was observed in 113 participants (60.4%). On univariate analyses, younger age at disease onset (hazard ratio [HR] 0.906, p = 0.001), younger age at surgery (HR 0.928, p < 0.001), shorter time to surgery (HR 0.921, p = 0.001), and hemispherectomy (HR 0.283, p < 0.001) were all associated with longer time to postoperative seizure recurrence. Additionally, multivariable analysis including the aforementioned variables showed that younger age at surgery (HR 0.946, p = 0.043) and hemispherectomy (HR 0.297, p < 0.001) were independently and significantly associated with a greater time to seizure recurrence and longer duration of seizure freedom.
The majority of pediatric patients undergoing resective or hemispheric surgery for RE achieve good seizure outcome. Although small retrospective cohort studies are inherently prone to bias, the best available evidence utilizing individual participant data suggests hemispheric surgery and younger age at surgery are associated with good seizure outcomes following epilepsy surgery. Large, multicenter observational studies with long-term follow-up are required to evaluate the risk factors identified in this review.