Aicardi syndrome: epilepsy surgery as a palliative treatment option for selected patients and pathological findings

Irina Podkorytova, Ajay Gupta, Elaine Wyllie, Ahsan Moosa, William Bingaman, Richard Prayson, Elia M.Pestana Knight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The optimal treatment for medically refractory epilepsy in Aicardi syndrome (AS) is still unclear. Palliative surgical treatment, including vagus nerve stimulation and corpus callosotomy, has therefore been used. There is limited data on the role of resective epilepsy surgery as a treatment choice in patients with AS. Here, we describe the seizures, anatomo-pathological findings, and neurodevelopmental outcome of palliative epilepsy surgery in two children with AS who had resective epilepsy surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. The related literature is also reviewed. Case 1 had a left functional hemispherectomy and was free of seizures and hypsarrhythmia for six months after surgery. Her gross motor skills improved after surgery. Outcome at 43 months was 1–3 isolated spasms per day. Case 2 had a right fronto-parietal lobectomy. Her seizures improved in frequency and severity, but remained daily after epilepsy surgery. Neurodevelopment changes included improved alertness and recognition of caregivers. This patient died 21 months after epilepsy surgery of unclear causes. Surgical pathology in both cases showed focal cortical dysplasia associated with other findings, such as nodular heterotopia and polymicrogyria. Epilepsy surgery could be an alternative palliative treatment choice in selective cases of AS, but studies on a larger patient cohort are needed to identify the possible role of surgery in children with AS. The complexity of the pathological findings may offer an explanation for the severity of seizures in AS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-439
Number of pages9
JournalEpileptic Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Aicardi syndrome
  • focal cortical dysplasia
  • palliative treatment
  • polymicrogyria
  • resective epilepsy surgery
  • surgical pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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