VNS therapy in clinical practice in children with refractory epilepsy


Lakshmi Nagarajan Department of Neurology, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, GPO Box D184, Perth, Western Australia 6840, Australia Tel.: +61 8 9340 8364 Fax: +61 8 9340 7063 e-mail:


Objectives– To study the efficacy, tolerability and safety of the vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) therapy in clinical practice, in 16 children and adolescents with refractory epilepsy. Methodology– We assessed the efficacy of VNS therapy, retrospectively by comparing seizure frequency, duration and severity at the time of most recent follow up (av: 24.9 months) to that in the 4 weeks prior to VNS surgery. Changes in quality of life, sleep and behaviour at last review was compared with that prior to VNS. Adverse effects elicited by specific questioning, spontaneous reporting and clinical examination are described. Results– Vagus nerve stimulation resulted in a >50% reduction in seizure frequency in 62.5% of children with 25% achieving a >90% reduction. Vagus nerve stimulation was well tolerated in all but one of our cohort, with no serious side-effects. Conclusion– Our results support its role as one of the options in intractable childhood epilepsy.