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Surgical treatment of patients with low-grade astrocytomas and medically intractable seizures

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Objective – Low-grade astrocytomas can present with seizures that respond poorly to antiseizure medications, with a consequent reduction in the quality of life, because of both seizures and the medication's side-effects. We report our experience with operative treatment of such patients. Subjects and methods – Five patients (two children and three adults) with supratentorial low-grade astrocytomas associated with severe seizures were operated on. We followed the effects of the operation on post-operative neurological deficit, seizure frequency and the quality of life. Results – No serious neurological complications followed the operations. The patients were followed for a median period of 12 months (6–46). Post-operatively, three of the patients became seizure-free, one experiences only auras, and one had a great reduction in seizure frequency and severity. All patients reported great improvement in their quality of life. Conclusion – Resections of low-grade astrocytomas in patients with medically intractable seizures are safe procedures that effectively control seizures in the majority of patients, resulting in significant improvement in the patients' quality of life.

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Keywords: low-grade astrocytoma; quality of life; seizures; surgical treatment

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Neurosurgery, The National University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland, 2: Department of Neurology, The National University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland, 3: Department of Radiology, The National University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland

Publication date: 2002-04-01

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