Race/ethnicity: A predictor of temporal lobe epilepsy surgery outcome?

Academic Article


  • Purpose: The success of epilepsy surgery in temporal lobe epilepsy reaches a 64% rate of seizure freedom, based on a randomized control trial. Observational studies from epilepsy centers worldwide indicate seizure freedom rates up to 93% when the etiology is unilateral hippocampal sclerosis. Several risk factors are attributed to the recurrence of seizures following the surgical procedure. Nonetheless, whether race influences the outcome of temporal lobe surgery is unknown. The purpose of this study was to evaluate if race plays a role in outcome following surgery. Methods: Data were obtained from the discharge database of the University of Alabama at Birmingham video/EEG monitoring unit, between 1998 and 2003, as well as the clinical charts. Seizure recurrence was evaluated 1 year following surgery. The sample consisted of all patients with a primary diagnosis of mesial temporal sclerosis (MTS) who underwent anterior temporal lobectomy. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to model the presence of seizure recurrence after anterior temporal lobectomy for MTS. Two sets of logistic regression models were estimated to generate odds ratios (ORs) for seizure recurrence after an anterior temporal lobectomy for African-Americans or other possible ethnic/racial group present relative to non-Hispanic Caucasians. The first model incorporated only ethnicity as the independent variable and generated unadjusted ORs for seizure recurrence following the surgical procedure. The second set included the independent variables: duration of epilepsy, history of febrile seizures, lateralization of epileptogenic focus, handedness, and age. Results: Seventy patients underwent surgical treatment and all of them ad pathologic confirmation of MTS. Follow-up information for six was not available. Analysis of the remaining 64 patients revealed that African-Americans were more likely than non-Hispanic Caucasians to have seizure recurrence after surgery (OR = 2.1, 95% CI = 0.6-8.0). After potential confounders (duration of epilepsy, history of febrile seizures, lateralization of epileptogenic focus, handedness, and age) were controlled, this finding did not change (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 0.3-10.7). Conclusion: Our data suggest that race may be an important factor related to seizure outcome following temporal lobectomy. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Burneo JG; Knowlton RC; Martin R; Edward Faught R; Kuzniecky RI
  • Start Page

  • 486
  • End Page

  • 490
  • Volume

  • 7
  • Issue

  • 3