OBJECTIVE: To assess seizure and cognitive outcomes and their predictors in children (<16 years at surgery) and adults undergoing temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) surgery in eight Italian centers.
METHODS: This is a retrospective multicenter study. We performed a descriptive analysis and subsequently carried out multivariable mixed-effect models corrected for multiple comparisons.
RESULTS: We analyzed data from 511 patients (114 children) and observed significant differences in several clinical features between adults and children. The possibility of achieving Engel class IA outcome and discontinuing antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) at last follow-up (FU) was significantly higher in children (P = .006 and < .0001). However, percentages of children and adults in Engel class I at last FU (mean ± SD, 45.9 ± 17 months in children; 45.9 ± 20.6 months in adults) did not differ significantly. We identified different predictors of seizure outcome in children vs adults and at short- vs long-term FU. The only variables consistently associated with class I outcome over time were postoperative electroencephalography (EEG) in adults (abnormal, improved,odds ratio [OR] = 0.414, P = .023, Q = 0.046 vs normal, at 2-year FU and abnormal, improved, OR = 0.301, P = .001, Q = 0.002 vs normal, at last FU) and the completeness of resection of temporal magnetic resonance (MR) abnormalities other than hippocampal sclerosis in children (OR = 7.93, P = .001, Q = 0.003, at 2-year FU and OR = 45.03, P < .0001, Q < 0.0001, at last FU). Cognitive outcome was best predicted by preoperative performances in either age group.
SIGNIFICANCE: Clinical differences between adult and pediatric patients undergoing TLE surgery are reflected in differences in long-term outcomes and predictors of failures. Children are more likely to achieve sustained seizure freedom and withdraw AEDs after TLE surgery. Earlier referral should be encouraged as it can improve surgical outcome.