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OBJECTIVE: There is little detailed phenotypic characterization of bilateral hippocampal sclerosis (HS). We therefore conducted a multicenter review of people with pharmacoresistant epilepsy and bilateral HS to better determine their clinical characteristics. METHODS: Databases from 11 EPIGEN centers were searched. For identified cases, clinicians reviewed the medical notes, imaging, and electroencephalographic (EEG), video-EEG, and neuropsychometric data. Data were irretrievably anonymized, and a single database was populated to capture all phenotypic information. These data were compared with phenotyped cases of unilateral HS from the same centers. RESULTS: In total, 96 patients with pharmacoresistant epilepsy and bilateral HS were identified (43 female, 53 male; age range = 8-80 years). Twenty-five percent had experienced febrile convulsions, and 27% of patients had experienced status epilepticus. The mean number of previously tried antiepileptic drugs was 5.32, and the average number of currently prescribed medications was 2.99; 44.8% of patients had cognitive difficulties, and 47.9% had psychiatric comorbidity; 35.4% (34/96) of patients continued with long-term medical therapy alone, another 4 being seizure-free on medication. Sixteen patients proceeded to, or were awaiting, neurostimulation, and 11 underwent surgical resection. One patient was rendered seizure-free postresection, with an improvement in seizures for 3 other cases. By comparison, of 201 patients with unilateral HS, a significantly higher number (44.3%) had febrile convulsions and only 11.4% had experienced status epilepticus. Importantly, 41.8% (84/201) of patients with unilateral HS had focal aware seizures, whereas such seizures were less frequently observed in people with bilateral HS, and were never observed exclusively (P = .002; Fisher's exact test). SIGNIFICANCE: The current work describes the phenotypic spectrum of people with pharmacoresistant epilepsy and bilateral HS, highlights salient clinical differences from patients with unilateral HS, and provides a large platform from which to develop further studies, both epidemiological and genomic, to better understand etiopathogenesis and optimal treatment regimes in this condition.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1410 - 1420


EPIGEN, bilateral hippocampal sclerosis, epilepsy surgery, phenotype, seizure semiology