Vagus nerve stimulation for drug-resistant Epilepsia Partialis Continua: Report of four cases

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Background: Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) represents an adjunctive surgical option for adult and pediatric patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, who are not eligible for surgical resection or disconnection. However, little is known on its efficacy in the treatment of Epilepsia Partialis Continua (EPC), a rare but serious form of motor status epilepticus associated either with progressive or with non-evolving neurological diseases. Purpose and methods: To evaluate the effect of VNS in a series of four children affected by medically unresponsive EPC secondary to chronic inflammatory encephalopathy (two cases), Rasmussen encephalitis (one case) and poliodystrophy (one case). Results: After VNS implantation, the stimulation amplitude was progressively increased and, after a mean interval of 47 days, a partial reduction of EPC and associated focal seizures was observed in all patients. After a mean follow-up of three years, one child stopped EPC, two presented short and rare episodes and in one patient 2-3 residual seizures per day was reported. In all cases, reduction of epileptic activity was associated with mild improvement of motor and cognitive abilities. No serious side effects were reported. Conclusion: VNS may be considered as an option for EPC when medical treatment fails and other more invasive neurosurgical options are not feasible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-171
Number of pages9
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • Drug-resistant epilepsy
  • Epilepsia Partialis Continua
  • Vagus nerve stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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