Sturge-Weber syndrome: an update on the relevant issues for neurosurgeons

Domenica Immacolata Battaglia, Anna Maria Auricchio, Luca Massimi

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Sturge-Weber syndrome (SWS) is a neurocutaneous facomatosis characterized by facial and leptomeningeal angioma, glaucoma, seizures, and neurological disability. Therefore, a challenging multidisciplinary interaction is required for its management. The goal of this paper is to review the main aspects of SWS and to present an illustrative pediatric series. Methods: The pertinent literature has been analyzed, focused mainly on etiopathogenesis, pathology, clinical features, diagnostic tools, management, and outcome of the disease. Moreover, a series of 11 children operated on for refractory epilepsy between 2005 and 2015 (minimum follow-up 5 years, mean follow-up 9.6 years) is reported. The series consists of six boys and five girls with 6.5-month and 16.2-month mean age at seizure onset and at surgery, respectively. Seizures affected all children, followed by hemiparesis and psychomotor delay (81%), glaucoma (54%), and other neurological deficits (45%). Results: All children underwent hemispherectomy (anatomical in three cases, functional in two cases, hemispherotomy in six cases); one patient needed a redo hemispherotomy. Mortality was nil; disseminated intravascular coagulation and interstitial pneumonia occurred in one patient each; three children had subdural fluid collection. Eight patients (72%) are in the ILAE Class 1 (completely seizure and aura free), two in Class 2 (only auras, no seizure), and one in Class 3 (1–3 seizure days per year). AEDs discontinuation was possible in 73% of cases. The most important news from the literature concerned the pathogenesis (role of the mutation of the GNAQ gene in the abnormal SWS vasculogenesis), the clinical findings (the features and pathogenesis of the stroke-like episodes are being understood), the diagnostic tools (quantitative MRI and EEG), and both the medical (migraine, seizures) and surgical management (epilepsy). The epileptic outcome of SWS patients is very good (80% are seizure-free), if compared with other hemispheric syndromes. The quality of life is affected by the neurological and cognitive deficits. Conclusions: SWS still is an etiological and clinical challenge. However, the improvements over the time are consistent. In particular, the neurosurgical treatment of refractory epilepsy provides very good results as long as the indication to treatment is correct.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
JournalCHILDS NERVOUS SYSTEM
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Angioma
  • Glaucoma
  • Port-wine stain
  • Refractory epilepsy
  • Seizures
  • Syurge-Weber syndrome

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