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Naoki Ikegaya, Masaki Iwasaki, Yuu Kaneko, Takanobu Kaido, Yuiko Kimura, Tetsuya Yamamoto, Noriko Sumitomo, Takashi Saito, Eiji Nakagawa, Kenji Sugai, Masayuki Sasaki, Akio Takahashi and Taisuke Otsuki


Cognitive risk associated with insular cortex resection is not well understood. The authors reviewed cognitive and developmental outcomes in pediatric patients who underwent resection of the epileptogenic zone involving the insula.


A review was conducted of 15 patients who underwent resective epilepsy surgery involving the insular cortex for focal cortical dysplasia, with a minimum follow-up of 12 months. The median age at surgery was 5.6 years (range 0.3–13.6 years). Developmental/intelligence quotient (DQ/IQ) scores were evaluated before surgery, within 4 months after surgery, and at 12 months or more after surgery. Repeated measures multivariate ANOVA was used to evaluate the effects on outcomes of the within-subject factor (time) and between-subject factors (resection side, anterior insular resection, seizure control, and antiepileptic drug [AED] reduction).


The mean preoperative DQ/IQ score was 60.7 ± 22.8. Left-side resection and anterior insular resection were performed in 9 patients each. Favorable seizure control (International League Against Epilepsy class 1–3) was achieved in 8 patients. Postoperative motor deficits were observed in 9 patients (permanent in 6, transient in 3). Within-subject changes in DQ/IQ were not significantly affected by insular resection (p = 0.13). Postoperative changes in DQ/IQ were not significantly affected by surgical side, anterior insular resection, AED reduction, or seizure outcome. Only verbal function showed no significant changes before and after surgery and no significant effects of within-subject factors.


Resection involving the insula in children with impaired development or intelligence can be performed without significant reduction in DQ/IQ, but carries the risk of postoperative motor deficits.