Sturge-Weber syndrome

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Abstract

Introduction

Sturge-Weber syndrome (SWS) is a rare neurocutaneous syndrome the main clinical features of which are facial, mostly unilateral nevi, leptomeningeal angiomatosis, and congenital glaucoma. The interest of this syndrome for pediatric neurosurgeons is mainly related to the association of SWS with epilepsy in 75–90% of the cases. Seizures are resistant to medical treatment in almost 60% of these patients that consequently should be evaluated for epilepsy surgery.

Indications to surgical treatment

Children with SWS and drug-resistant epilepsy are optimal candidates for disconnective or resective surgical procedures in terms of both seizure control and intellectual outcomes. Controversies, however, still exist between the advantages of early “prophylactic” operation vs later surgical interventions. Though better results in terms of seizures control and psychomotor development were reported in a limited series of children operated on early in life, the insufficient number of subjects who underwent the surgical treatment does not allow definite conclusions yet.

Neurosurgical techniques

Visually guided lobectomy with complete excision of the angiomatous cortex should be considered as the primary surgical procedure in patients with focal lesions. Hemispherectomy is the treatment of choice in children with extensive hemispheric lesions.

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