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Saya Koh, Takehiro Uda, Noritsugu Kunihiro, Ichiro Kuki, Takeshi Inoue, Toshiyuki Kawashima, Hiroshi Uda, Ryoko Umaba, Kosuke Nakajo, Yoko Nakanishi, Satoru Sakuma, Toshiyuki Seto, Shin Okazaki, Hisashi Kawawaki, and Takeo Goto

OBJECTIVE

Surgery is a treatment option for medically intractable epileptic spasms (ESs). However, outcomes of ES after surgery are not well understood, especially when surgeries aimed at seizure palliation are included. The purpose of the present study was to 1) investigate the proportion of favorable postoperative ES outcomes, 2) explore the preoperative factors related to favorable postoperative ES outcomes, and 3) examine the timing of ES recurrence after disconnection surgeries, including both curative and palliative indications.

METHODS

This retrospective study included patients who underwent disconnection surgery for medically intractable ES at the authors’ institution between May 2015 and April 2021. Patients with suggested focal-onset ES based on preoperative evaluations initially underwent lobar disconnection. Patients with suggested generalized or unknown-onset ES underwent corpus callosotomy (CC). If evaluations after initial CC showed focalized or lateralized change, they were considered secondarily revealed focal-onset ES, and lobar disconnection was performed. ES outcomes were evaluated using the International League Against Epilepsy classification. ES outcomes were divided into classes 1–4 as favorable outcomes and classes 5 and 6 as unfavorable outcomes. The relationship between the favorable postoperative ES outcomes and the following preoperative factors was analyzed: sex, age at onset (< or > 1 year), duration between seizure onset and initial surgery (< or > 2 years), type of seizure at onset (ES or others), presence of other types of seizures, substrate, hypsarrhythmia, and MRI abnormalities. The period between the last surgery and ES recurrence was also analyzed.

RESULTS

A total of 41 patients were included, of whom 75.6% achieved favorable ES outcomes. A longer seizure duration between seizure onset and initial surgery, presence of hypsarrhythmia, and positive MRI findings led to poorer postoperative ES outcomes (p = 0.0028, p = 0.0041, and p = 0.0241, respectively). A total of 60.9% of patients had ES recurrence during the follow-up period, and their ES recurred within 13 months after the last surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Disconnection surgery is an effective treatment option for medically intractable ES, even when the preoperative evaluation suggests a generalized or unknown onset.

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Takehiro Uda, Ichiro Kuki, Takeshi Inoue, Noritsugu Kunihiro, Hiroharu Suzuki, Hiroshi Uda, Toshiyuki Kawashima, Kosuke Nakajo, Yoko Nakanishi, Shinsuke Maruyama, Takashi Shibata, Hiroshi Ogawa, Shin Okazaki, Hisashi Kawawaki, Kenji Ohata, Takeo Goto, and Hiroshi Otsubo

OBJECTIVE

Epileptic spasms (ESs) are classified as focal, generalized, or unknown onset ESs. The classification of ESs and surgery in patients without lesions apparent on MRI is challenging. Total corpus callosotomy (TCC) is a surgical option for diagnosis of the lateralization and possible treatment for ESs. This study investigated phase-amplitude coupling (PAC) of fast activity modulated by slow waves on scalp electroencephalography (EEG) to evaluate the strength of the modulation index (MI) before and after disconnection surgery in children with intractable nonlesional ESs. The authors hypothesize that a decreased MI due to surgery correlates with good seizure outcomes.

METHODS

The authors studied 10 children with ESs without lesions on MRI who underwent disconnection surgeries. Scalp EEG was obtained before and after surgery. The authors collected 20 epochs of 3 minutes each during non–rapid eye movement sleep. The MI of the gamma (30–70 Hz) amplitude and delta (0.5–4 Hz) phase was obtained in each electrode. MIs for each electrode were averaged in 4 brain areas (left/right, anterior/posterior quadrants) and evaluated to determine the correlation with seizure outcomes.

RESULTS

The median age at first surgery was 2.3 years (range 10 months–9.1 years). Two patients with focal onset ESs underwent anterior quadrant disconnection (AQD). TCC alone was performed in 5 patients with generalized or unknown onset ESs. Two patients achieved seizure freedom. Three patients had residual generalized onset ESs. Disconnection surgeries in addition to TCC consisted of TCC + posterior quadrant disconnection (PQD) (1 patient); TCC + AQD + PQD (1 patient); and TCC + AQD + hemispherotomy (1 patient). Seven patients became seizure free with a mean follow-up period of 28 months (range 5–54 months). After TCC, MIs in 4 quadrants were significantly lower in the 2 seizure-free patients than in the 6 patients with residual ESs (p < 0.001). After all 15 disconnection surgeries in 10 patients, MIs in the 13 target quadrants for each disconnection surgery that resulted in freedom from seizures were significantly lower than in the 26 target quadrants in patients with residual ESs (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

In children with nonlesional ESs, PAC for scalp EEG before and after disconnection surgery may be a surrogate marker for control of ESs. The MI may indicate epileptogenic neuronal modulation of the interhemispheric corpus callosum and intrahemispheric subcortical network for ESs. TCC may be a therapeutic option to disconnect the interhemispheric modulation of epileptic networks.