Associations between testing and treatment pathways in lesional temporal or extratemporal epilepsy: A census survey of NAEC center directors

the NAEC Center Director Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The evaluation to determine candidacy and treatment for epilepsy surgery in persons with drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) is not uniform. Many non-invasive and invasive tests are available to ascertain an appropriate treatment strategy. This study examines expert response to clinical vignettes of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)–positive lesional focal cortical dysplasia in both temporal and extratemporal epilepsy to identify associations in evaluations and treatment choice. Methods: We analyzed annual report data and a supplemental epilepsy practice survey reported in 2020 from 206 adult and 136 pediatric epilepsy center directors in the United States. Non-invasive and invasive testing and surgical treatment strategies were compiled for the two scenarios. We used chi-square tests to compare testing utilization between the two scenarios. Multivariable logistic regression modeling was performed to assess associations between variables. Results: The supplemental survey response rate was 100% with 342 responses included in the analyses. Differing testing and treatment approaches were noted between the temporal and extratemporal scenarios such as chronic invasive monitoring selected in 60% of the temporal scenario versus 93% of the extratemporal scenario. Open resection was the most common treatment choice; however, overall treatment choices varied significantly (p <.001). Associations between non-invasive testing, invasive testing, and treatment choices were present in both scenarios. For example, in the temporal scenario stereo-electroencephalography (SEEG) was more commonly associated with fluorodeoxyglucose–positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) (odds ratio [OR] 1.85; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.06–3.29; p =.033), magnetoencephalography (MEG) (OR 2.90; 95% CI 1.60–5.28; p = <.001), high density (HD) EEG (OR 2.80; 95% CI 1.27–6.24; p =.011), functional MRI (fMRI) (OR 2.17; 95% CI 1.19–4.10; p =.014), and Wada (OR 2.16; 95% CI 1.28–3.66; p =.004). In the extratemporal scenario, choosing SEEG was associated with increased odds of neuromodulation over open resection (OR 3.13; 95% CI 1.24–7.89; p =.016). Significance: In clinical vignettes of temporal and extratemporal lesional DRE, epilepsy center directors displayed varying patterns of non-invasive testing, invasive testing, and treatment choices. Differences in practice underscore the need for comparative trials for the surgical management of DRE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-830
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE)
  • epilepsy surgery
  • temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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