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Title: Is epilepsy surgery possible in countries with limited resources?
Authors: Rao, MB
Radhakrishnan, K
Keywords: Neurology
Issue Date: 2000
Publisher: EPILEPSIA
Citation: EPILEPSIA. 41; ; S31-S34
Abstract: This study illustrates the outcome and cost-effectiveness of anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) among patients with medically refractory temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) treated in an epilepsy center in Kerala, South India. Patients for ATL were selected on the basis of a noninvasive protocol comprising clinical, interictal scalp electroencephalogram (EEG), magnetic resonance imaging, and ictal video-EEG data. The authors compared the outcome and direct cost of 119 patients (mean age, 25.6 years; mean duration of epilepsy before ATL, 16.1 years) who have completed at least 1 year follow-up after ATL with 71 refractory TLE patients (mean age, 27.1 years; mean duration of epilepsy, 15.4 years) who did not undergo ATL. Patients in the study who underwent ATL had a 70% likelihood of becoming seizure-free after ATL and a 30% chance of being completely off of antiepileptic drug treatment within 3 years after ATL. The out-of-pocket one-time payment for ATL (including presurgical evaluation) in this setup is Indian Rupees (INR) 47,000 (US$ 1,200). The total direct medical cost of caring for TLE patients aged 26 to 60 years would be INR 200,000 (US$ 5,000). Patients freed from seizures often can be better employed and achieve an improved quality of life. It is concluded that ATL for refractory TLE is a more cost-effective option than continued medical treatment. Epilepsy surgery is not only possible in a developing country but can also be undertaken in a cost-effective way.
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