Outcomes of cingulate epilepsy surgery: insights from an institutional and patient-level systematic review and meta-analysis

Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Rohin Singh, Gregory A. Worrell, Jamie J. van Gompel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE Due to their deep and medial location, range of seizure semiologies, and poor localization on ictal electroencephalography (EEG), cingulate gyrus seizures can be difficult to diagnose and treat. The aim of this study was to review the available evidence on postoperative outcomes after cingulate epilepsy surgery. METHODS A comprehensive literature search of the PubMed/MEDLINE, Ovid Embase, Ovid Scopus, and Cochrane Library databases was conducted to identify studies that investigated postoperative outcomes of patients with cingulate epilepsy. Seizure freedom at the last follow-up (at least 12 months) was the primary endpoint. The literature search was supplemented by the authors’ institutional series (4 patients). RESULTS Twenty-one studies were identified, yielding a total of 105 patients (68 with lesional epilepsy [65%]). Median age at surgery was 23 years, and 56% of patients were male. Median epilepsy duration was 7.5 years. Invasive EEG recording was performed on 69% of patients (53% of patients with lesional epilepsy and 97% of those with nonlesional epilepsy, p < 0.001). The most commonly resected region was the anterior cingulate (55%), followed by the posterior (17%) and middle (14%) cingulate. Lesionectomy alone was performed in 9% of patients. Additional extracingulate treatment was performed in 54% of patients (53% of patients with lesional epilepsy vs 57% of those with nonlesional epilepsy, p = 0.87). The most common pathology was cortical dysplasia (54%), followed by low-grade neoplasm (29%) and gliosis (8%). Seizure freedom was noted in 72% of patients (median follow-up 24 months). A neurological deficit was noted in 27% of patients (24% had temporary deficit), with the most common deficit being motor weakness (13%) followed by supplementary motor area syndrome (9.5%). Univariate survival analysis revealed significantly greater probability of seizure freedom in patients with lesional epilepsy (p = 0.015, log-rank test). CONCLUSIONS Surgical treatment of drug-resistant focal epilepsy originating from the cingulate gyrus is safe, leads to low rates of permanent adverse effects, and leads to high rates of long-term seizure freedom in carefully selected patients. These data may serve as a benchmark for surgical counseling of patients with cingulate epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Cingulate gyrus
  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Functional neurosurgery
  • Meta-analysis
  • Seizure freedom
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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