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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Journal of the Neurological Sciences

Volume 369, October 2016, Pages 330-332.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1016/j.jns.2016.09.001. Copyright © Elsevier


OBJECTIVES: Tonic-clonic seizures are associated with greater chance of seizure relapse after anterior temporal lobectomy. We investigated whether the interval between the last preoperative tonic-clonic seizure and surgery relates to seizure outcome in patients with drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE).

METHODS: In this retrospective study, patients were prospectively registered in a database from 1986 through 2014. Postsurgical outcome was categorized as seizure freedom or relapse. The relationship between surgical outcome and the interval between the last preoperative tonic-clonic seizure and surgery was investigated.

RESULTS: One-hundred seventy-one patients were studied. Seventy nine (46.2%) patients experienced tonic-clonic seizures before surgery. Receiver operating characteristic curve of timing of the last preoperative tonic-clonic seizure was a moderate indicator to anticipate surgery failure (area under the curve: 0.657, significance; 0.016). The best cutoff that maximizes sensitivity and specificity was 27months; with a sensitivity of 0.76 and specificity of 0.60. Cox-Mantel analysis confirmed that the chance of becoming free of seizures after surgery in patients with no or remote history of preoperative tonic-clonic seizures was significantly higher compared with patients with a recent history (i.e., in 27months before surgery) (p=0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: The more remote the occurrence of preoperative tonic-clonic seizures, the better the postsurgical seizure outcome, with at least a two year gap being more favorable. A recent history of tonic-clonic seizures in a patient with MTLE may reflect more widespread epileptogenicity extending beyond the borders of mesial temporal structures.

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