Semin Pediatr Neurol. 2021 Oct;39:100916. doi: 10.1016/j.spen.2021.100916. Epub 2021 Aug 20.
As awareness of pediatric epilepsy increases, accompanied by advancements in technology and research, it is important to identify certain types of patients that are overlooked for surgical management of epilepsy. Identifying these populations will allow us to study and elucidate the factors contributing to the underutilization and/or delayed application of surgical interventions. Demographically, African-American and Hispanic patients, as well as patients of certain Asian ethnicities, have relatively lower rates of undergoing epilepsy surgery than non-Hispanic and white patients. Among patients with epilepsy, those with higher odds of seizure-freedom following surgery are more likely to be referred for surgical evaluation by their neurologists, with the most common diagnosis being lesional focal epilepsy. However, patients with multifocal or generalized epilepsy, genetic etiologies, or normal (non-lesional) brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are less likely be to referred for evaluation for resective surgery. With an increasing number of high-quality imaging modalities to help localize the epileptogenic zone as well as new techniques for both curative and palliative epilepsy surgery, there are very few populations of patients and/or types of epilepsy that should be precluded from evaluation to determine the suitability of epilepsy surgery. Ultimately, a clearer understanding of the populations who are underrepresented among those considered for epilepsy surgery, coupled with further study of the underlying reasons for this trend, will lead to less disparity in access to this critical treatment among patients with epilepsy.