Chronic Intractable Epilepsy as the Only Symptom of Primary Brain Tumor

H. H. Morris, M. L. Estes, R. Gilmore, P. C. Van Ness, G. H. Barnett, J. Turnbull, P. Genton, A. Portera-Sanchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


We identified 39 patients with chronic epilepsy (seizures ≥2 years) proven to have primary brain tumors. These cases represent ∼12% of the surgery cases for epilepsy in the same period. Mean age of seizure onset was 13.2 years: mean duration before operation was 10.5 years. Thirty‐eight of 39 had normal neurologic examination. Twenty‐six tumors were temporal, 7 were frontal, 4 were parietal, and 2 were occipital. Nine of 26 (34.6%) of the temporal group had contralateral interictal EEG spikes. Pathology was 15 ganglioglioma, 13 low‐grade astrocytoma, 4 oligodendroglioma, 2 low‐grade mixed glioma, 1 pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma, 2 dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor, and 1 ependymoma. Postoperative seizure frequency (minimum follow‐up 6 months) ranged from 15 to 16 seizure‐free or auras only in patients with temporal tumors and total gross tumor removal (mean follow‐up 28 months) to 0 of 6 seizure‐free in patients with extratemporal tumors who underwent subtotal resections or biopsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1038-1043
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1993


  • Brain tumor
  • Epilepsy
  • Neoplasms
  • Neurologic manifestations
  • Neurophysiology
  • Neurosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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