Table 4.

Studies of mortality in epilepsy surgery populations

Author, cases included (no.)Mortality rateSUDEP rateComment
* Survival status not ascertained in those not known to have survived.
SUDEP = sudden unexplained death in epilepsy; AVMs = arteriovenous malformation; op. = operation.
Dashieff4 (1991),* all cases evaluated (151)1/108 person-yearsIncludes all patients evaluated for and after epilepsy surgery and assumes complete follow-up at 3 years
Jensen14 (1975),* multicenter temporal (829) (tumors, AVMs excluded)49.6/1,000 patientsGeneral population mortality = 2.9/1,000, age group 10–59; nonsurgical epilepsy population mortality = 59.4/1,000; status epilepticus 30%, suicide 36%
Taylor15/Bruton16 (1977, 1988),* consecutive temporal (245)27 deaths (11%) over 25 year follow-up: 108/1,000 patientsEpilepsy-related 10, suicide 6, recurrence of tumor 5
Guldvog et al.17 (1994),* all cases of partial epilepsy (124)30 deaths (24.2%) since 1949Mortality 1.6 times expected population rate; 10 deaths from progressive tumor, only 3 from epilepsy-related causes
Sperling et al.18 (1996), consecutive temporal resections (151)1/150 person-yearsThree deaths caused by SUDEP, one suicide; all had persistent postoperative seizures
Vickrey19 (1997), cases postop/being assessed for op. (202) vs cases not operable (46)7% mortality rate of surgery group vs 20% of nonsurgery group, p < 0.01 (6-year follow-up)Cause of death not rigorously ascertained; higher proportion of ongoing seizures in those who died