Object. Surgical treatment of cortical dysplasia (CD) together with intractable seizures is challenging because both visualization and localization of the lesion are difficult, correlation with seizure foci requires comprehensive study, and the surgical outcomes reported thus far are unsatisfactory. The authors report their experience in the surgical treatment of CD classified according to a surgical point of view.
Methods. The definition of CD used in this study was a dysplastic lesion visible on magnetic resonance (MR) images or a lesion that, although not visible on MR images, was diagnosed as moderate-to-severe dysplasia by using pathological analysis. During the last 4.5 years, the authors treated 36 patients with intractable epilepsy accompanied by CD. They divided the 36 cases of CD into four characteristic groups: Group A, diffuse bilateral hemispheric dysplasia; Group B, diffuse lobar dysplasia; Group C, focal dysplasia; and Group D, a moderate to severe degree of CD with a normal appearance on MR images. All but one patient in Group C were monitored in the epilepsy monitoring unit by using subdural electrodes for seizure localization and functional mapping.
The incidence of CD among a cohort of 291 patients who had undergone epilepsy surgery at the authors' center during the study period was 12.4%. The mean age of the 36 patients was 21.3 years and the mean age at seizure onset was 8.5 years. The mean follow-up period was 26 months. Twenty-six patients (72.2%) belonged to Engel Class I or II (20 and six, respectively). There were five cases in Group A, nine in Group B, nine in Group C, and 13 in Group D. Patients in Groups A and B were significantly younger at seizure onset and had significantly poorer surgical outcomes compared with patients in Groups C and D (p < 0.05). If outcome is compared on the basis of the extent of removal of CD, patients in whom CD was completely removed had significantly better outcomes than those in whom CD was only partially removed (p < 0.001).
Conclusions. The authors conclude that intractable epilepsy accompanied by CD can be treated surgically using comprehensive preoperative approaches. Deliberate resective procedures aimed at complete removal of dysplastic tissue ensure excellent seizure control without permanent neurological deficit.