Pediatric temporal lobectomy for epilepsy

D. Barry Sinclair, K. Aronyk, T. Snyder, J. McKean, M. Wheatley, R. Bhargava, M. Hoskinson, C. Hao, W. Colmers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Background: Temporal lobectomy in adults is an accepted form of treatment for patients with intractable complex partial seizures. There have been few long-term studies of children undergoing temporal lobectomy for epilepsy. Methods: We reviewed the pediatric cases of temporal lobectomy for intractable epilepsy performed by the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at the University of Alberta Hospitals between 1988 and 2000. All patients had preoperative and postoperative clinical evaluations, seizure charts, drug levels, EEG, CT/MRI, long-term video EEG monitoring and neuropsychological testing. The patients were reassessed at 6 weeks, 6 months and 1 year postoperatively, then yearly. The duration of follow up was 1-10 years (mean 5 years). Results: Forty-two patients were studied (25 males and 17 females). Age at surgery ranged from 18 months to 16 years. The interictal EEG was abnormal in 38 of the 42 patients. Twenty-two patients had focal epileptic discharge and 1 had generalized epileptic discharge. Focal slowing was seen in 9 patients and diffuse slowing in 5 patients. CT scan was abnormal in 17 of 39 patients and normal in 22 of 39. MRI was abnormal in 34 of 42 patients and normal in 8 of 42. Pathology included brain tumors in 14 patients, mesial temporal sclerosis in 8, focal cortical dysplasia in 4, tuberous sclerosis in 4, dual pathology in 4, porencephalic cyst in 1 and normal pathology or gliosis in 6. Thirty-three of 42 patients (78%) were seizure-free following surgery and an additional 5 (12%) had a decrease in seizure frequency. Three patients had complications, but there were no deaths. Conclusion: Temporal lobectomy is a safe and effective treatment for children with intractable complex partial seizures. Seventy-eight percent of patients are seizure-free following the surgery and there are few complications. MRI is superior to CT scan for detection of temporal lobe pathology yet failed to detect abnormalities in some patients. The most common pathologies found were brain tumors, mesial temporal sclerosis and developmental lesions. In addition to seizure control, many patients experienced improvement in cognitive and psychosocial function following surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-205
Number of pages11
JournalPediatric Neurosurgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Childhood epilepsy
  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Temporal lobectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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