Biomarkers of seizure response to vagus nerve stimulation

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Biomarkers of seizure response to vagus nerve stimulation: A scoping review.

Abstract
Although vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a common procedure, seizure outcomes are heterogeneous, with few available means to preoperatively identify the ideal surgical candidate. Here, we perform a scoping review of the literature to identify biomarkers of VNS response in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. Several databases (Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid Embase, BIOSIS Previews, and Web of Science) were searched for all relevant articles that reported at least one biomarker of VNS response following implantation for intractable epilepsy. Patient demographics, seizure data, and details related to biomarkers were abstracted from all studies. From the 288 records screened, 28 articles reporting on 16 putative biomarkers were identified. These were grouped into four categories: network/connectomic-based biomarkers, electrophysiological signatures, structural findings on neuroimaging, and systemic assays. Differences in brain network organization, connectivity, and electrophysiological synchronicity demonstrated the most robust ability to identify VNS responders. Structural findings on neuroimaging yielded inconsistent associations with VNS responsiveness. With regard to systemic biomarkers, heart rate variability was shown to be an independent marker of VNS response, whereas inflammatory markers were not useful. There is an unmet need to preoperatively identify candidates who are likely to benefit from VNS. Several biomarkers demonstrate promise in predicting seizure responsiveness to VNS, particularly measures of brain network connectivity. Further efforts are required to validate existing biomarkers to inform clinical decision-making.

PMID: 32862454 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Epilepsia. 2020 Aug 30;:

Authors: Workewych AM, Arski ON, Mithani K, Ibrahim GM

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