Object. This study was performed to evaluate the complications of invasive subdural grid monitoring during epilepsy surgery in children.
Methods. The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of 35 consecutive children with intractable localization-related epilepsy who underwent invasive video electroencephalography (EEG) with subdural grid electrodes at The Hospital for Sick Children between 1996 and 2001. After subdural grid monitoring and identification of the epileptic regions, cortical excisions and/or multiple subpial transections (MSTs) were performed. Complications after these procedures were then categorized as either surgical or neurological.
There were 17 male and 18 female patients whose mean age was 11.7 years. The duration of epilepsy before surgery ranged from 2 to 17 years (mean 8.3 years). Fifteen children (43%) had previously undergone surgical procedures for epilepsy. The number of electrodes on the grids ranged from 40 to 117 (mean 95). During invasive video EEG, cerebrospinal fluid leaks occurred in seven patients. Also, cerebral edema (five patients), subdural hematoma (five patients), and intracerebral hematoma (three patients) were observed on postprocedural imaging studies but did not require surgical intervention. Hypertrophic scars on the scalp were observed in nine patients. There were three infections, including one case of osteomyelitis and two superficial wound infections. Blood loss and the amounts of subsequent transfusions correlated directly with the size and number of electrodes on the grids (p < 0.001). Twenty-eight children derived significant benefit from cortical resections and MSTs, with a more than 50% reduction of seizures and a mean follow-up period of 30 months.
Conclusions. The results of this study indicate that carefully selected pediatric patients with intractable epilepsy can benefit from subdural invasive monitoring procedures that entail definite but acceptable risks.