Presurgical Evaluation Strategies for Intractable Epilepsy of Childhood

Keith Starnes, Dewi Depositario-Cabacar, Lily Wong-Kisiel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


For children who continue to experience seizures despite treatment with antiseizure medications, epilepsy surgery can be considered. The goals of the presurgical evaluation are to determine the best surgical approach to render a good outcome. In patients with drug resistant focal epilepsy, the epileptogenic zone defines the minimal brain volume which must be resected for surgical success and to delineate the relationship of this region with functional cortex. A number of noninvasive tools for these tasks have emerged over the past decade, and existing technologies have been revised and improved. In this review, we examine the recent published evidence for these techniques, specifically as applied to the pediatric population. Discussed herein are the diagnostic value of methods such as video electroencephalography, magnetic resonance imaging, and supportive neuroimaging techniques including single photon emission tomography, photon emission tomography, and magnetoencephalography. Functional testing including functional magnetic resonance imaging, electrical stimulation mapping, and transcranial magnetic stimulation are considered in the context of pediatric epilepsy. The application of emerging techniques to preoperative testing such as source localization, image post-processing, and artificial intelligence is covered. We summarize the relative value of presurgical testing based on patient characteristics, including lesional or nonlesional MRI, temporal or extratemporal epilepsy, and other factors relevant in pediatric epilepsy such as pathological substrate and age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100915
JournalSeminars in Pediatric Neurology
StatePublished - Oct 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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