gms | German Medical Science

57th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery
Joint Meeting with the Japanese Neurosurgical Society

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

11 - 14 May, Essen

Surgical treatment of occipital lobe epilepsy (OLE)

Operative Behandlung der Okzipitallappen-Epilepsie (OLE)

Meeting Abstract

  • M. von Lehe - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Bonn, Bonn
  • D. Binder - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Bonn, Bonn
  • T. Kral - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Bonn, Bonn
  • J. Schramm - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Bonn, Bonn
  • corresponding author H. Clusmann - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Bonn, Bonn

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Japanische Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 57. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie e.V. (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit der Japanischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Essen, 11.-14.05.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocSO.08.08

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: May 8, 2006

© 2006 von Lehe et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: Epilepsies originating from the occipital area account for a small percentage of the extratemporal epilepsies. Most series reported so far are small, and others are not exclusively focused on the occipital lobe. Thus, the preoperative planning, surgical strategies, pathologic basis and prognosis for OLE patients remain to be elucidated.

Methods: Patients were prospectively entered in a data bank since 1990. Data bank information was screened, and a group of 44 patients with occipital involvement was defined. Charts, surgical reports, pathology and MR data were reviewed. Seizure control was determined at the last regular outpatient exam or with standardized telephone interviews. Seizure outcome was classified according to Engel’s score (I – IV).

Results: 29 (16m,13f) patients with pure OLE were included, making up 9.9% of 292 patients undergoing operation for extratemporal epilepsies. The majority (24 pat, 83%) had complex partial seizures, and 20 patients (69%) had experienced generalized seizures. Two patients had a history of trauma, one of perinatal asphyxia, and 3 patients had had prior intracranial surgery. All patients revealed a lesion upon MRI. 12 patients (41%) underwent invasive EEG monitoring with implanted electrodes and intraoperative electrocorticography was performed in 11 patients. All patients had occipital lesionectomies, 6 patients additional MST. Histopathology revealed 7 gangliogliomas (24%), one low-grade ependymoma (3%), 7 vascular malformations (24%), 5 dysplasias (17%), and 9 gliotic scars (31%). One patient had two pathologies. One patient suffered a postoperative hemorrhage with a mild hemiparesis (3%) but there was no mortality. Visual field deficits were the most common neurological deficits present in 11 patients preoperatively (38%). 6 patients (21%) showed new and 3 patients (10%) aggravated visual field deficits after surgery. Mean follow-up was 38 months. 21 patients were seizure free (72% Engel I), 2 had rare seizures (7% Engel II), 3 improved more than 75% (10.5% Engel III), and 3 had no worthwhile improvement (10.5% Engel IV).

Conclusions: OLE is a rare, but typical entity of focal epilepsy. Promising results were obtained in 79% of patients in our series. Postoperative visual field deficits have to be expected in a significant number of patients.