Use of invasive stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) has gained traction recently. However, scant research has investigated the costs and resource utilization of SEEG compared with subdural grid (SDG)-based techniques in pediatric patients. Here, the authors have presented a retrospective analysis of charges associated with SEEG and SDG monitoring at a single institution.
The authors performed a retrospective case series analysis of pediatric patients with similar characteristics in terms of age, sex, seizure etiology, and epilepsy treatment strategy who underwent SEEG or SDG monitoring and subsequent craniotomy for resection of epileptogenic focus at St. Louis Children Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri, between 2013 and 2020. Financial data, including hospital charges, supplies, and professional fees (i.e., those related to anesthesia, neurology, neurosurgery, and critical care), were adjusted for inflation to 2020 US dollars.
The authors identified 18 patients (9 underwent SEEG and 9 underwent SDG) with similar characteristics in terms of age (mean [range] 13.6 [1.9-21.8] years for SDG patients vs 11.9 [2.4-19.6] years for SEEG patients, p = 0.607), sex (4 females underwent SDG vs 6 females underwent SEEG, p = 0.637), and presence of lesion (5 patients with a lesion underwent SDG vs 8 underwent SEEG, p = 0.294). All patients underwent subsequent craniotomy for resection of epileptogenic focus. SEEG patients were more likely to have a history of status epilepticus (p = 0.029). Across 1 hospitalization for each SDG patient and 2 hospitalizations for each SEEG patient, SEEG patients had a significantly shorter mean operating room time (288 vs 356 minutes, p = 0.015), mean length of stay in the ICU (1.0 vs 2.1 days, p < 0.001), and tended to have a shorter overall length of stay in the hospital (8.4 vs 10.6 days, p = 0.086). Both groups underwent invasive monitoring for similar lengths of time (5.2 days for SEEG patients vs 6.4 days for SDG patients, p = 0.257). Time to treatment from the initial invasive monitoring evaluation was significantly longer in SEEG patients (64.6 vs 6.4 days, p < 0.001). Neither group underwent readmission within the first 30 days after hospital discharge. Seizure outcomes and complication rates were similar. After adjustment for inflation, the average total perioperative charges were $104,442 for SDG and $106,291 for SEEG (p = 0.800).
Even though 2 hospitalizations were required for SEEG and 1 hospitalization was required for SDG monitoring, patients who underwent SEEG had a significantly shorter average length of stay in the ICU and operating room time. Surgical morbidity and outcomes were similar. Total perioperative charges for invasive monitoring and resection were approximately 2% higher for SEEG patients when corrected for inflation, but this difference was not statistically significant.