Neuropediatrics 2021; 52(02): 154
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1721829
Book Review

Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery: Preoperative Assessment and Surgical Treatment

Georgia Ramantani
1  Department of Neuropediatrics, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
› Author Affiliations

Cataltepe O, Jallo GI, eds. Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery: Preoperative Assessment and Surgical Treatment. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Thieme Publishers; 2019 (721 pages, 796 illustrations) ISBN 9781626238169; e-ISBN 9781626238176 €269.99

Pediatric epilepsy surgery is rapidly gaining ground, and the last decades have seen a continuous shift toward younger ages with the inherent challenges of determining the epileptogenic zone and performing surgery in this age group. Comprehensive textbooks dedicated to pediatric epilepsy surgery are, however, rare, and neurosurgery has a marginal position. The current textbook is bridging the gap by addressing pediatric epilepsy surgery from the viewpoint of the pediatric neurosurgeons and epilepsy surgeons. This book is not just a second revised edition but a largely expanded product of the original textbook with numerous new chapters, contributed by renowned experts in this field.

The book is organized into five parts. Part I offers an introduction to pediatric epilepsy, focusing on drug-resistant, surgically remediable epilepsy and addressing the full range of topics that are unique to epilepsy surgery in the very young patients. This first part covers the management of early-onset catastrophic epilepsies, impact of epilepsy on cognitive development, potential of brain plasticity to compensate for functional deficit, and increasing role of neuropathology and epilepsy genetics in prognosticating surgical outcomes. Part I also contains a historical review of pediatric epilepsy surgery and a study of its ethical aspects that offer particularly stimulating reading material for everyone working in this field. Part II is dedicated to the presurgical evaluation in all its facets such as semiology, electrophysiology, neuropsychology, and neuroimaging. Part III is an entirely new addition to this second edition, dedicated to brain mapping by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the Wada test, as well as cortical and subcortical stimulations. This section starts with an overview of the topographic anatomy of the cerebral cortex and the white matter tracts that is indeed essential not only to the neurosurgeon but, in fact, to everyone participating in an epilepsy surgery program. Part III has a lot to offer in terms of illustrative iconography and “how to” guidelines from different experts drawing from their institutional experiences. Part IV constitutes, as stated by the editors, the backbone of this book, and the neurosurgeon will undoubtedly revel in the detailed account of anesthetic considerations and cutting-edge surgical techniques. This part reads like a cookbook written by various star chefs where authors are minutely describing what they can do the best. Hemispheric resection or disconnection, the surgical approach most unique to children and adolescents takes up almost 100 pages, as fitting to the holy grail of pediatric epilepsy surgery with each technique presented in great detail. It should be noted that part IV of this textbook also contains sections on neuromodulation procedures, radiosurgery, and ablative procedures, including chapters on the use of laser technology in different surgical scenarios. Finally, part V is dedicated to the postsurgical course and the outcomes of epilepsy surgery, both in terms of seizure freedom and cognitive development. In this last part of the book, reoperations, the “second chance” that is frequently offered in pediatric epilepsy surgery, are discussed in apt detail.

As mentioned in the preface, there is a considerable degree of overlap in this book, and the reader will notice that there are sometimes considerable differences in viewpoints and practices between experts working in different institutions and different parts of the world. This overlap can appear annoying at first glance, but it may actually be perceived as the strength of this book, as one gets the feeling of participating in a hands-on seminar where experts share their accumulated knowledge and provide practical information on certain procedures.

Overall, this is an excellent textbook, mainly addressed to neurosurgeons engaging in pediatric neurosurgery and epilepsy surgery, but very useful to all other disciplines participating in the interdisciplinary epilepsy surgery team, including child neurologists and epileptologists.



Publication History

Publication Date:
22 December 2020 (online)

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