November 9, 2021

Seizure Control After Epilepsy Surgery in Early Childhood: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Abstract of study to be published in Epilepsy Behavior 

Objective: This meta-analysis aimed to determine the main factors influencing surgical outcomes in children <3 years old with refractory epilepsy.

Methods: The PubMed and Cochrane database were systematically searched for epilepsy surgery outcomes from December 1, 1991, to March 30, 2021, using the following search terms: “Epilepsy surgery OR Seizure operation” AND “under three years” OR “first three years” OR “early childhood” OR “infancy OR infants.” Seizure onset, duration of epilepsy, magnetic resonance imaging findings, age at the time of surgery, surgical methods, resection extent, and pathological findings were considered potential moderators of differences in seizure outcomes. The fixed-effects models, combined effect sizes, and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to calculate the influence of potential factors on seizure outcomes.

Results: Thirty two studies (559 cases) were included in the meta-analysis. The significant factors that correlated with a lower seizure control rate were frontal lobectomy (odds ratio [OR]: 0.33, 95% CI: 0.12-0.91; p = 0.03) and malformation of cortical development (MCD) (OR, 0.38; 95% CI: 0.24-0.62; p < 0.01). A higher seizure control rate was observed in children with tumors (92.86%) and Sturge-Weber syndrome (SWS, 91.43%). Frontal lobe epilepsy induced by MCD was related to the worst postoperative efficacy (OR, 0.26; 95% CI: 0.13-0.53; p < 0.01).

Significance: The results of our meta-analyses revealed that pathology and surgical location play critical roles in the outcome of epilepsy surgery in children <3 years old. Clarification of the etiology of epilepsy before surgery is critical for better postoperative outcomes.