Conflicting conclusions have been reported regarding several factors that may predict seizure outcomes after hemispheric surgery for refractory epilepsy. The goal of this study was to identify the possible predictors of seizure outcome by pooling the rates of postoperative seizure freedom found in the published literature.
A comprehensive literature search of PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library identified English-language articles published since 1970 that describe seizure outcomes in patients who underwent hemispheric surgery for refractory epilepsy. Two reviewers independently assessed article eligibility and extracted the data. The authors pooled rates of seizure freedom from papers included in the study. Eight potential prognostic variables were identified and dichotomized for analyses. The authors also compared continuous variables within seizure-free and seizure-recurrent groups. Random- or fixed-effects models were used in the analyses depending on the presence or absence of heterogeneity.
The pooled seizure-free rate among the 1528 patients (from 56 studies) who underwent hemispheric surgery was 73%. Patients with an epilepsy etiology of developmental disorders, generalized seizures, nonlateralization on electroencephalography, and contralateral MRI abnormalities had reduced odds of being seizure-free after surgery.
Hemispheric surgery is an effective therapeutic modality for medically intractable epilepsy. This meta-analysis provides useful evidence-based information for the selection of candidates for hemispheric surgery, presurgical counseling, and explanation of seizure outcomes.