Evolution of Surgical Management for Intractable Epileptic Spasms

Academic Article


  • The understanding and management of epileptic spasms has considerably evolved since the mid 19th century. The realization that epileptic spasms can be generated from a focal brain lesion played a pivotal role in the development of neurosurgical management for intractable forms of this epilepsy. During pre-surgical planning, the addition of functional FDG PET imaging has further refined the electroencephalographic localization of epileptogenic lesions. In some cases, neurosurgical resection of a focus that is co-localized by the FDG PET scan and electroencephalography can lead to partial or complete reversal of developmental delay along with reduced seizure frequency or seizure freedom. In cases where near-complete hemispheric cortex is implicated in spasm generation, subtotal hemispherectomy has shown encouraging results. Moreover, palliative resection of the major perpetrating focus in carefully chosen patients with bilateral multifocal spasms has also led to favorable outcomes. However, in patients with tuberous sclerosis with high tuber burden, the localizing value of FDG PET imaging may be limited. In such cases, employment of AMT PET technology has become a valuable tool for localization of actively epileptogenic tubers. This article highlights the historic steps in the successful advancements of neurosurgical interventions for the treatment of intractable epileptic spasms.
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    Author List

  • Rashid S; Chugani HT
  • Volume

  • 35