Epileptic Disorders


Concept of epilepsy surgery and presurgical evaluation Volume 17, issue 1, March 2015


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1 Department of Neurology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, Kerala
2 Department of Neurology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India
* Correspondence: Kurupath Radhakrishnan Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal-576 104, Karnataka, India

Epilepsy surgery is a well-accepted treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy. The success of the epilepsy surgery depends upon an appropriate presurgical evaluation process which should ensure the selection of suitable patients who are likely to become seizure-free following surgery without any unacceptable deficit. The two basic goals of the presurgical evaluation are the accurate localization and delineation of the extent of the epileptogenic zone, and its complete and safe resection. The process of the presurgical evaluation requires a multimodality approach wherein each modality provides unique and complimentary information which is combined with the information provided by other modalities to generate a hypothesis with regard to the likely epileptogenic zone. The basic modalities for the presurgical evaluation are clinical history, long-term video-EEG recording, high-resolution MRI, and neuropsychological evaluation. The additional modalities include functional imaging studies, electrical and magnetic source imaging, functional MRI, and intracranial monitoring. Each modality has its own limitations and the information provided by none of them is absolute. Hence, a concordance among the different modalities is the key to surgical success. The presurgical evaluation is a step-wise process starting form the most basic and most reliable tests and progressing to more complex and invasive modalities. The number of tests required varies according to the complexity involved and may include very basic minimum investigations in a given case, to the use of all the available investigations in more complex cases. The proper selection of various investigations and their accurate interpretation at each stage is required to ensure a successful outcome. In this article, we intend to review some of these basic concepts of presurgical evaluation and epilepsy surgery, and try to provide a frame work of the presurgical evaluation process.