Long-term results of vagus nerve stimulation in children with Dravet syndrome: Time-dependent, delayed antiepileptic effect

Song Ee Youn, Da Eun Jung, Hoon Chul Kang, Heung Dong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: This study aimed to assess the long-term outcomes of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) in children with pharmaco-resistant Dravet syndrome (DS). Methods: We enrolled 22 patients with pharmaco-resistant DS who underwent VNS implantation at Severance Children's Hospital from March 2005 to October 2020. Efficacy and tolerability were assessed at 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, and 36 months after VNS implantation. Efficacy was measured as the percentage reduction in seizure frequency at each follow-up compared with the baseline (pre-implantation) values. Results: Median patient age at VNS implantation was 10.0 years (interquartile range 7.7–13.3). The median follow-up period was 4.3 years (interquartile range 3.0–6.5) after VNS implantation. All cases were followed up for ≥2 years after VNS implantation. Three (13.6 %) patients maintained seizure freedom for ≥1 year. Among them, one achieved seizure freedom after 30 months of VNS. More than 50 % reduction in seizure frequency was observed in 36.4 % (8/22), 54.5 % (12/22), and 63.2 % (12/19) of the patients at 12, 24, and 36 months, respectively. The median percent reduction in seizure frequency was 18.8 %, 50.6 %, and 60.0 % at 12, 24, and 36 months, respectively. Compared with the baseline value, the seizure frequency was significantly lower at 24, 30, and 36 months, as well as at the longest follow-up period (p < 0.05, Wilcoxon signed-rank test). The symptom that was mostly associated with adverse events was hoarseness (4/22, 18.2 %); however, they had temporary or minimal effects on activities of daily living. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that VNS therapy allows long-term, progressive, and time-dependent improvement in seizure control for pharmaco-resistant DS. Clinicians should be aware of the delayed VNS efficacy over the years and should encourage long-term VNS maintenance by patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106665
JournalEpilepsy Research
Volume174
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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