Epilepsy surgery indications

Epilepsy surgery indications

Epilepsy surgery is an established safe and effective treatment for selected candidates with drug-resistant epilepsy. In a opinion piece, Hale et al. from the Children’s of Alabama, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Nemours Children’s Hospital outlined the clinical and experimental evidence for selectively considering epilepsy surgery prior to drug resistance. The rationale for expedited surgery is based on the observations that, 1) a high proportion of patients with lesional epilepsies (e.g. focal cortical dysplasia, epilepsy associated tumours) will progress to drug-resistance, 2) surgical treatment of these lesions, especially in non-eloquent areas of brain, is safe, and 3) earlier surgery may be associated with better seizure outcomes. Potential benefits beyond seizure reduction or elimination include less exposure to anticonvulsants (ASM), which may lead to improved developmental trajectories in children and optimize long-term neurocognitive outcomes and quality of life. Further, there exists emerging experimental evidence that brain network dysfunction exists at the onset of epilepsy, where continuing dysfunctional activity could exacerbate network perturbations. This in turn could lead to expanded seizure foci and contribution to the comorbidities associated with epilepsy. Taken together, they rationalize that epilepsy surgery, in carefully selected cases, may be considered prior to drug resistance. Lastly, they outlined the path forward, including the challenges associated with developing the evidence base and implementing this paradigm into clinical care 1).


20% of patients continue to have seizures despite aggressive medical management with antiepileptic drugs AEDs. Many of these patients may be candidates for surgical procedures to control their seizures 2).

Seizure disorder must be severe, medically refractory with satisfactory trials of tolerable medication for at least 1 year, and disabling to the patient. Medically refractory epilepsy is usually considered two attempts of high-dose monotherapy with two distinct AEDs, and one attempt at polytherapy.

The three general categories of patients suitable for seizure surgery have 3):

  1. partial seizures

a) temporal origin: the largest group of surgical candidates (especially mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) which is often medically refractory)

b) extratemporal origin

  1. symptomatic generalized seizures: e.g. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

  2. unilateral, multifocal epilepsy associated with infantile hemiplegia syndrome.


The goal is to eliminate seizures or significantly reduce seizure burden.

In most state-of-the-art epilepsy units, resective epilepsy surgery is currently the standard treatment for intractable epilepsy. Generally, the success rate, defined as a seizure-free status or Engel class I, is between 62% and 71%, as compared to 14% in non-operated cases 4) 5).

Generally, surgery is considered in patients whose seizures cannot be controlled by adequate trials of two different medications. Epilepsy surgery has been performed for more than a century, but its use dramatically increased in the 1980s and ’90s, reflecting its efficacy in selected patients.

Patients with comorbid psychosis and temporal lobe drug-resistant epilepsy may benefit from epilepsy surgery under close psychiatric supervision 6).

Epilepsy surgery is an effective and safe therapeutic modality in childhood. In children with extratemporal epilepsy, more careful interpretation of clinical and investigative data is needed to achieve favorable seizure outcome 7).

see Tuberous sclerosis complex surgery.


1)

Hale AT, Chari A, Scott RC, Cross JH, Rozzelle CJ, Blount JP, Tisdall MM. Expedited epilepsy surgery prior to drug resistance in children: a frontier worth crossing? Brain. 2022 Jul 27:awac275. doi: 10.1093/brain/awac275. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35883201.
2)

Engel JJ. Surgery for Seizures. N Engl J Med. 1996; 334:647–652
3)

National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference. Surgery for Epilepsy. JAMA. 1990; 264:729–733
4)

Edelvik A, Rydenhag B, Olsson I, et al. Long-term outcomes of epilepsy surgery in Sweden: a national prospective and longitudinal study. Neurology 2013;81:1244–51.
5)

Sarkis RA, Jehi L, Najm IM, et al. Seizure outcomes following multilobar epilepsy surgery. Epilepsia 2012;53:44–50.
6)

D’Alessio L, Scévola L, Fernandez Lima M, Oddo S, Solís P, Seoane E, Kochen S. Psychiatric outcome of epilepsy surgery in patients with psychosis and temporal lobe drug-resistant epilepsy: A prospective case series. Epilepsy Behav. 2014 Jul 15;37C:165-170. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2014.06.002. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25036902.
7)

Kim SK, Wang KC, Hwang YS, Kim KJ, Chae JH, Kim IO, Cho BK. Epilepsy surgery in children: outcomes and complications. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2008 Apr;1(4):277-83. doi: 10.3171/PED/2008/1/4/277. PubMed PMID: 18377302.

Lumbar decompression surgery for spinal canal stenosis outcome

Lumbar decompression surgery for spinal canal stenosis outcome

Lumbar laminectomy, represents the standard operative treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis, but this procedure is often combined with fusion surgery. It is still discussed whether minimal-invasive decompression procedures are sufficient and if they compromise spinal stability as well.

Decompression of lumbar spinal stenosis without fusion led to a significant and similar reduction of back pain and leg pain in a short-term and a long-term follow-up group. Patients without previous surgery benefited significantly better, whereas patients with previous decompression benefited regarding back pain, especially for long-term follow-up with a clear trend in favor of leg pain 1).

Currently, there is interest in minimally invasive surgery and various technical modifications of decompressive lumbar laminectomy without fusion.

Particularly, depression has been shown to be associated with less improvement following lumbar fusion surgery 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8).

Karp et al. 9) reviewed 158 patients who underwent epidural spinal injections for low-back pain with or without radiculopathy. These investigators found that depression and sleep disturbance were prognostic of worse Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS) outcomes following epidural spinal injections.

Hägg et al. 10) performed a randomized controlled trial of 264 patients with severe chronic low-back pain who underwent either surgical or nonsurgical treatment, and assessed the impact of underlying affective disorders. They found that baseline depression correlated with worse outcomes following both operative and nonoperative treatment.

Interestingly, they also observed that depressed patients tended to have better outcomes with nonoperativecare, whereas nondepressed patients tended to have better outcomes with fusion.

In the study of Lubelski et al. 11) found that worsening depression (as measured by the PHQ-9) independently significantly predicted worse EQ-5D index outcomes following conservative treatment for LSS (p = 0.0002). This effect was most evident when comparing patients with severe depression, who improve 0.14 points less than those with no depression. This difference exceeds the MCID and confirms that depression is a poor prognostic factor for QOL improvement following nonoperative treatment for LSS. Further investigation is needed to determine whether treatment of depression prior to conservative or surgical management of LSS will improve posttreatment QOL outcomes. There are several limitations that should be considered when interpreting the results. Multiple treating physicians were included, and factors such as participation in physical therapy, treatment with NSAIDs, opioid medications and other nonsurgical treatments varied by practitioner and patient; this increases the variability, but also improves the generalizability.

They adjusted for the increased variability by using the random effect in the regression models. Many patients were also lost to follow-up at the 4-month evaluation.

The cohorts were similar for most characteristics; however, there were statistically significant, albeit small differences for estimated percent below poverty threshold and median income by zip code. The analysis is only valid for patients who did follow-up assessments at these time points. Additionally, this was a retrospective study with a relatively short follow-up period.

Prospectively designed studies with longer follow-up are needed to further validate the findings. Nonetheless, this is the largest study investigating the correlation between depression and QOL outcomes following conservative management of LSS.

Lubelski et al. have used the validated PHQ-9 measure of depression and have found a statistically and clinically significant impact on EQ-5D index outcomes.

The results of this study suggest that depressed patients with LSS have significantly less improvement following conservative management compared with nondepressed patients. Both physicians and surgeons who treat patients with LSS should consider using validated questionnaires such as the PHQ-9 for pretreatment evaluation of depression, to better assess the likelihood of success following treatment. Further investigation is needed to evaluate the effect of depression treatment prior to management of the spinal disorder. Future prospective studies with longer follow-up intervals may be useful in further evaluating the QOL outcomes in this patient population 12).


In cases of lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) treated with surgical decompression, a postoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is sometimes required. In the experience of a study, the obtained decompression observed on early postoperative MRI tends to be disappointing compared to the decompression achieved intraoperatively. This raises the question of whether the early postoperative MRI, performed after lumbar decompression, is a fair representation of the ‘real’ decompression. A study investigated the correlation between intraoperative and postoperative measurements of the lumbar spinal canal.

Surgical decompression of the spinal canal effectively decreases the compression of the dural sac. However, early postoperative MRI after lumbar decompression does not adequately represent the decompression achieved intraoperatively 13).

Back pain improvement

Through the 1st postoperative year, patients with lumbar stenosis-without spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, or sagittal malalignment-and clinically significant back pain improved after decompression-only surgery 14).


The most common surgical method currently used is lumbar laminectomy, with complete decompression; this technique has a 5-year follow-up effective rate of 81.6% 15).

Apart from acute complications such as hematoma and infections, same-level recurrent lumbar stenosis and adjacent-segment disease (ASD) are factors that can occur after index lumbar spine surgery.

While looking for predictors of revision surgery due to re-stenosis, instability or same/adjacent segment disease none of these were found. Within our cohort no significant differences concerning demographic, peri-operative and radiographic data of patients with or without revision wer noted. Patients, who needed revision surgery were older but slightly healthier while more likely to be male and smoking. Surprisingly, significant differences were noted regarding the distribution of intraoperative and early postoperative complications among the 6 main surgeons while these weren’t obious within the intial index group of late revisions 16).


A systematic review was conducted using MEDLINE for literature published through December 2014. The first question focused on the effectiveness of lumbar spine surgery for symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis in elderly patients. The second question focused on safety of surgical intervention on this elderly population with emphasis on perioperative complication rates.

Review of 11 studies reveals that the majority of elderly patients exhibit significant symptomatic improvement, with overall benefits observed for pain (change visual analog scale4.4 points) and disability (change Oswestry Disability Index 23 points). Review of 11 studies reveals that perioperative complications were infrequent and acceptable with pooled estimates of mortality (0.5%), inadvertent durotomy (5%), and wound infection (2%). Outcomes seem less favorable with greater complication rates among patients with diabetesor obesity.

Based on largely low-quality, retrospective evidence, Shamji et al. recommend that elderly patients should not be excluded from surgical intervention for symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis 17).

Fusion Is Not a Safeguard to Prevent Revision Surgery in Lumbar Spinal Stenosis 18).

A cohort study showed no significant association between the type of index operation for Degenerative Lumbar Spinal Stenosis-decompression alone or fusion-and the need for revision surgery or the outcomes of pain, disability, and quality of life among patients after 3 years. Number of revision operations was associated with more pain and worse quality of life 19).


1)

Geiger MF, Bongartz N, Blume C, Clusmann H, Müller CA. Improvement of Back and Leg Pain after Lumbar Spinal Decompression without Fusion. J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg. 2018 Dec 5. doi: 10.1055/s-0038-1669473. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30517963.
2)

Aalto TJ, Malmivaara A, Kovacs F, Herno A, Alen M, Salmi L, et al: Preoperative predictors for postoperative clinical outcome in lumbar spinal stenosis: systematic review. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 31:E648–E663, 2006
3)

Adogwa O, Parker SL, Shau DN, Mendenhall SK, Aaronson OS, Cheng JS, et al: Preoperative Zung Depression Scale predicts outcome after revision lumbar surgery for adjacent segment disease, recurrent stenosis, and pseudarthrosis. Spine J 12:179–185, 2012
4)

Adogwa O, Parker SL, Shau DN, Mendenhall SK, Bydon A, Cheng JS, et al: Preoperative Zung depression scale predicts patient satisfaction independent of the extent of improvement after revision lumbar surgery. Spine J 13:501–506, 2013
5)

Arpino L, Iavarone A, Parlato C, Moraci A: Prognostic role of depression after lumbar disc surgery. Neurol Sci 25:145– 147, 2004
6)

Chaichana KL, Mukherjee D, Adogwa O, Cheng JS, McGirt MJ: Correlation of preoperative depression and somatic perception scales with postoperative disability and quality of life after lumbar discectomy. J Neurosurg Spine 14:261– 267, 2011
7)

Sinikallio S, Aalto T, Airaksinen O, Herno A, Kröger H, Viinamäki H: Depressive burden in the preoperative and early recovery phase predicts poorer surgery outcome among lumbar spinal stenosis patients: a one-year prospective follow-up study. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 34:2573–2578, 2009
8)

Trief PM, Grant W, Fredrickson B: A prospective study of psychological predictors of lumbar surgery outcome. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 25:2616–2621, 2000
9)

Karp JF, Yu L, Friedly J, Amtmann D, Pilkonis PA: Negative affect and sleep disturbance may be associated with response to epidural steroid injections for spine-related pain. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 95:309–315, 2014
10)

Hägg O, Fritzell P, Ekselius L, Nordwall A: Predictors of outcome in fusion surgery for chronic low back pain. A report from the Swedish Lumbar Spine Study. Eur Spine J 12:22–33, 2003
11) , 12)

Lubelski D, Thompson NR, Bansal S, Mroz TE, Mazanec DJ, Benzel EC, Khalaf T. Depression as a predictor of worse quality of life outcomes following nonoperative treatment for lumbar stenosis. J Neurosurg Spine. 2015 Mar;22(3):267-72. doi: 10.3171/2014.10.SPINE14220. Epub 2014 Dec 19. PubMed PMID: 25525957.
13)

Schenck C, van Susante J, van Gorp M, Belder R, Vleggeert-Lankamp C. Lumbar spinal canal dimensions measured intraoperatively after decompression are not properly rendered on early postoperative MRI. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2016 May;158(5):981-8. doi: 10.1007/s00701-016-2777-5. Epub 2016 Mar 23. PubMed PMID: 27005673; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4826663.
14)

Crawford CH 3rd, Glassman SD, Mummaneni PV, Knightly JJ, Asher AL. Back pain improvement after decompression without fusion or stabilization in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis and clinically significant preoperative back pain. J Neurosurg Spine. 2016 Nov;25(5):596-601. PubMed PMID: 27285666.
15)

Bouras T, Stranjalis G, Loufardaki M, Sourtzis I, Stavrinou LC, Sakas DE. Predictors of long-term outcome in an elderly group after laminectomy for lumbar stenosis. J Neurosurg Spine. 2010;59:329–34.
16)

Melcher C, Paulus AC, Roßbach BP, Gülecyüz MF, Birkenmaier C, Schulze-Pellengahr CV, Teske W, Wegener B. Lumbar spinal stenosis – surgical outcome and the odds of revision-surgery: Is it all due to the surgeon? Technol Health Care. 2022 Jun 10. doi: 10.3233/THC-223389. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35754243.
17)

Shamji MF, Mroz T, Hsu W, Chutkan N. Management of Degenerative Lumbar Spinal Stenosis in the Elderly. Neurosurgery. 2015 Oct;77 Suppl 4:S68-74. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000000943. PubMed PMID: 26378360.
18)

Austevoll IM, Ebbs E. Fusion Is Not a Safeguard to Prevent Revision Surgery in Lumbar Spinal Stenosis. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Jul 1;5(7):e2223812. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.23812. PMID: 35881401.
19)

Ulrich NH, Burgstaller JM, Valeri F, Pichierri G, Betz M, Fekete TF, Wertli MM, Porchet F, Steurer J, Farshad M; Lumbar Stenosis Outcome Study Group. Incidence of Revision Surgery After Decompression With vs Without Fusion Among Patients With Degenerative Lumbar Spinal Stenosis. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Jul 1;5(7):e2223803. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.23803. PMID: 35881393.

Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus

Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus

J.Sales-Llopis

Neurosurgery Department, University General Hospital of Alicante, Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research in the Valencian Region (FISABIO), Alicante, Spain

Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus Definition.

see Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus history.

Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus Epidemiology.

Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus Classification.

Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus Natural History

Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus Etiology.

see Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus Pathogenesis.

see Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus pathophysiology.

see Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus clinical features.

see Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus scales

see Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus diagnosis

see Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus differential diagnosis.

Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus guidelines

see Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus treatment.

see Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus outcome.

see Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus case series.

see Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus case reports.

see Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus experimental animal model.

WhatsApp WhatsApp us
%d bloggers like this: