Early Surgical Intervention to Treat Epilepsy (ERSET)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00040326
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : June 25, 2002
Last Update Posted : February 23, 2010
Information provided by:
University of California, Los Angeles

June 24, 2002
June 25, 2002
February 23, 2010
July 2002
November 2007   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
The primary outcome measure will be freedom from disabling epileptic seizures (complex partial and secondarily generalized seizures, and simple partial seizures that are apparent to an observer) [ Time Frame: 2 years ]
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Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00040326 on Archive Site
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Early Surgical Intervention to Treat Epilepsy
Early Randomized Surgical Epilepsy Trial
The purpose of this trial is to compare the effectiveness of early surgical intervention for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy to continued treatment with antiepileptic drugs.

Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) is the most common form of epilepsy, and the most medically intractable. An estimated one-quarter to one-half of the 400,000 patients in the United States with intractable epilepsy have MTLE. Generally, MTLE becomes intractable in adolescence and early adulthood. Persistence of seizures during this time commonly causes adverse social and psychological consequences which can become irreversible.

The current treatment of MTLE primarily consists of medications to control seizures. Usually surgical treatment is considered only if medications are not effective. Recent studies have shown that surgery can stop disabling seizures in 60 to 70% of patients with long standing MTLE. However, to date, no research study has examined surgery performed as an early therapy.

The goal of the study is to determine if more patients treated with early surgery become seizure free and have improved quality of life compared to similar patients who continue to receive antiepileptic medication only. This study will determine the difference in seizure frequency between the two groups and the impact of the two treatments on the quality of life of the participants.

Phase 3
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
  • Epilepsy
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe
  • Seizures
  • Procedure: anteromesial temporal resection
    surgical treatment for epilepsy
  • Drug: antiepileptic drugs
  • Active Comparator: 1
    anteromesial temporal resection
    Intervention: Procedure: anteromesial temporal resection
  • Active Comparator: 2
    antiepileptic drugs
    Intervention: Drug: antiepileptic drugs
Engel J Jr, McDermott MP, Wiebe S, Langfitt JT, Stern JM, Dewar S, Sperling MR, Gardiner I, Erba G, Fried I, Jacobs M, Vinters HV, Mintzer S, Kieburtz K; Early Randomized Surgical Epilepsy Trial (ERSET) Study Group. Early surgical therapy for drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy: a randomized trial. JAMA. 2012 Mar 7;307(9):922-30. doi: 10.1001/jama.2012.220.

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
Same as current
November 2007
November 2007   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

Inclusion criteria:

  • Intractability: Two AEDs, one of which was either Dilantin, Tegretol, Carbatrol, or Trileptal used in appropriate doses, have failed due to inefficacy, not intolerance.
  • Frequency and Duration: Persistence of disabling seizures at 6 per year or greater for less than two years after onset, or after recurrence if initial treatment resulted in seizure freedom for 6 or more months.
  • Age: 12 years or older at baseline visit.
  • History: Simple and complex partial seizures, with or without secondarily generalized seizures beginning in childhood or later, with or without febrile convulsions earlier.
  • Absence of a history of serious cerebral insult after the age of 5; a progressive neurological disorder; mental retardation (I.Q. less than 70); psychogenic seizures; focal neurological deficits other than memory disturbances; unequivocal focal extratemporal EEG slowing or interictal spikes; or lesions on neuroimaging outside of the mesial temporal area.
  • Seizure semiology: Auras that occur in isolation and are not primary sensory other than olfactory or gustatory. Absence of initial focal motor movements other than automatisms or dystonic posturing. Presence of postictal confusion.
  • Neurological examination: No unexplained focal or lateralized neurological deficits other than memory dysfunction.
  • Baseline QOL and ancillary outcome data:
  • Adolescents - QOLIE-48-AD, CHQ, CBCL, PANAS, Life Events Scale, FAC, FEICS-PC completed.
  • Adults - QOLIE-82/ESI55, locus of control, PANAS, Life Events Scale, FAD, FEICS-PC completed.
  • Global rating scale completed.
  • Baseline ancillary outcomes completed. Psychiatric evaluation: No evidence of psychosis, current or recent substance abuse, suicidality, anorexia, or psychogenic seizures. Baseline BSI and MINI or KSADS completed.
  • Neuropsychological testing: I.Q. of greater than 70. No significant focal neurocognitive dysfunction inconsistent with MRI and PET findings. Baseline neuropsychological testing completed.
  • Neuroimaging: Hippocampal atrophy on MRI T1 imaging with either increased ipsilateral mesial signal on T2 imaging, or ipsilateral hypometabolism on PET (Class I), or either hippocampal atrophy on MRI only, or temporal hypometabolism on PET only (Class II).
  • Absence of temporal neocortical or extratemporal lesions on MRI, or diffuse unilateral or bilateral hypometabolism on PET.
  • Video-EEG Monitoring:
  • If neuroimaging is Class I, ictal EEG onset is lateralized to the ipsilateral side; if neuroimaging is Class II, ictal EEG onset is focal on the ipsilateral side.
  • Absence of contralateral or extratemporal ictal onset.
  • Absence of persistent extratemporal, or predominant contralateral focal interictal spikes or slowing, or generalized interictal spikes.
  • Absence of psychogenic seizures.
  • Seizure baseline: Seizure log, seizure report forms, and seizure severity scale completed.
  • IAP: In those randomized to surgery only, contralateral hemisphere can support memory.
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
12 Years and older   (Child, Adult, Senior)
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
United States
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Jerome Engel, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Neurology
University of California, Los Angeles
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Principal Investigator: Jerome Engel, Jr., M.D., Ph.D. UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Neurology
University of California, Los Angeles
February 2010

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP