BACKGROUND: Postoperative seizures (PSs) after neurosurgical operations are common but little is known about the role of surgical brain incision on their genesis. This topic has not been addressed so far. OBJECTIVE: To verify if the corticotomy affects the risk of PSs and postoperative epilepsy (PE) in children. METHODS: One hundred forty-three consecutive pediatric cases operated on for supratentorial lesions at the same institution in the last 15 yr have been retrospectively reviewed by dividing them into group A, 68 children who required brain corticotomy mainly for hemispheric tumors, and group B, 75 children treated through extracortical approaches mainly for suprasellar and optic tumors. Patients with possible "epileptic" biases, like preoperative seizures, were excluded. RESULTS: No significant differences have been found between group A and B as far as incidence of PSs (11.7% vs 14.5%) and PE (4.5% vs 6.5%), timing, and type of seizures are concerned after a mean 6.8 yr follow-up. The size of corticotomy in group A (<3 cm2 vs >3 cm2) had no impact on epileptogenesis as well as the other variables considered in both groups (age, sex, extent of lesion resection). CONCLUSION: This study shows that the surgical cortical "trauma" would not represent a risk factor for PSs and PE. According to the present analysis and the literature, other causes seem to be involved (namely, electrolytic imbalance and brain gliosis). This information is important for preoperative surgical planning and postoperative management. A validation by both adult series and prospective studies is needed.
- seizures, neurosurgery, brain incision, children