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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 
 EPILEPSY RESEARCH, Vol.174 : 106665, 2021-08 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Child ; Dravet syndrome ; Epilepsy ; Vagus nerve stimulation
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.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Pediatrics (소아과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kang, Hoon Chul(강훈철) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3659-8847
Kim, Heung Dong(김흥동) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8031-7336
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