Trends in epilepsy diagnosis and surgery in western China during 2009–2017


      • Epilepsy surgeries in western China has not risen with years.
      • Patient age at surgery or epilepsy duration has not changed with years.
      • Hippocampal sclerosis was the most frequent type of drug-resistant TLE.



      Despite the strong evidence for the efficacy of surgery to treat temporal lobe epilepsy, the number of such surgeries has plateaued in western countries. This study examined trends in the number of epilepsy cases diagnosed, number of surgeries performed, and certain characteristics of surgery patients in western China between January 2009 and December 2017.


      Data were obtained for a population-based sample from a healthcare information system, as well as for a patient population from West China Hospital. Age at epilepsy onset, age at surgery, duration of epilepsy, and type of epilepsy pathology based on surgical samples were analyzed.


      Data were obtained for 14,710 hospitalizations from the healthcare system and 17,302 hospitalizations from West China Hospital. The number of hospitalizations, but not the number of epilepsy surgeries, increased during the study period. Patients' age at epilepsy onset, age at surgery or epilepsy duration did not change significantly during the study period.


      Our analysis suggests that in western China, as in western countries, the number of temporal epilepsy surgeries has plateaued. In contrast, disease-modifying factors have not changed over time in western China. Further studies are needed to explore what may contribute to these findings.


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