John Libbey Eurotext

Epilepsy surgery in a developing country (Lebanon): ten years experience and predictors of outcome Volume 14, issue 3, September 2012

Department of Pediatrics, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Department of Surgery/Neurosurgery, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon, Department of Neurosurgery, St Luke's Episcopal Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine Faculty Center, Texas, USA

We present our 10-year experience and preoperative predictors of outcome in 93 adults and children who underwent epilepsy surgery at the American University of Beirut. Presurgical evaluation included video-EEG monitoring, MRI, neuropsychological assessment with invasive monitoring, and other tests (PET, SPECT, Wada). Surgeries included temporal (54%), extratemporal (22%), and multilobar resections (13%), hemispherectomy (4%), vagal nerve stimulation (6%), and corpus callosotomy (1%). Mesial temporal sclerosis was the most common aetiology (37%). After resective surgery, 70% had Engel class I, 9% class II, 14% class III, and 7% class IV. The number of antiepileptic drugs before surgery was the only preoperative factor associated with Engel class I ( p=0.005). Despite the presence of financial and philanthropic aid, many patients could not be operated on for financial reasons. We conclude that advanced epilepsy presurgical workups, surgical procedures, and favourable outcomes, comparable to those of developed countries, are achievable in developing countries, but that issues of financial coverage remain to be addressed.