ESIS in Pediatric DRE

Study Purpose

The main reason for this research study is to gain information about how the brain makes seizures by causing seizures using very small amounts of current, or electrical stimulation. Using small amounts of current to cause seizures (or stimulate) is not new at CCHMC

  • - it is part of routine clinical practice for some patients at some electrodes.
This study differs from routine clinical care in that all study patients will undergo electrical stimulation in all or nearly all electrode contacts. The study team is doing this because there is promising data in adult patients that stimulating comprehensively (targeting all or nearly all of the electrode contacts) helps define the seizure network. Defining the seizure network in turn helps the medical team plan surgery. So far, there is not as much published data on seizure stimulation for pediatric patients. This research study thus has the potential both to help individual patients (by providing specific information about your seizure networks) and to help pediatric patients with epilepsy in general (by increasing our understanding of stimulated seizures in children, teenagers and young adults).

Recruitment Criteria

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Healthy volunteers are participants who do not have a disease or condition, or related conditions or symptoms

Study Type

An interventional clinical study is where participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes.

An observational clinical study is where participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes.

Searching Both is inclusive of interventional and observational studies.

Eligible Ages 1 Year - 30 Years
Gender All
More Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • - Diagnosis of drug-refractory epilepsy (DRE) - 1-30 years of age.
  • - recommended to undergo stereoencephalography (sEEG) at CCHMC.

Exclusion Criteria:

- <1 and >30 years of age

Trial Details

Trial ID:

This trial id was obtained from ClinicalTrials.gov, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, providing information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants with locations in all 50 States and in 196 countries.


Phase 1: Studies that emphasize safety and how the drug is metabolized and excreted in humans.

Phase 2: Studies that gather preliminary data on effectiveness (whether the drug works in people who have a certain disease or condition) and additional safety data.

Phase 3: Studies that gather more information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages and by using the drug in combination with other drugs.

Phase 4: Studies occurring after FDA has approved a drug for marketing, efficacy, or optimal use.

Lead Sponsor

The sponsor is the organization or person who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.

Sarah Katie Ihnen
Principal Investigator

The person who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the entire clinical study.

Sarah Katie Ihnen, MD, PhD
Principal Investigator Affiliation Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati
Agency Class

Category of organization(s) involved as sponsor (and collaborator) supporting the trial.

Overall Status Recruiting
Countries United States

The disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury that is being studied.

Additional Details

Epilepsy affects about 1% of the population, with roughly 30% of patients with epilepsy eventually developing drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE). Increasingly, surgery is pursued for DRE, yielding seizure freedom rates of 50-70%. However, accurate deduction of the epileptogenic zone (EZ) for surgical planning can be difficult in pediatric DRE, especially in those cases of multifocal seizures, as is often seen in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), for example. Patients with multifocal epilepsy typically require a period of pre-surgical invasive EEG monitoring to record spontaneous seizures, the gold standard for EZ deduction. Unfortunately, the invasive monitoring process may be lengthy, costly and even fail to reveal a dominant EZ. Electrical stimulation of induced seizures (ESIS) using stereo EEG (sEEG) has been shown to be a safe and valid adjunct for EZ delineation in adults with DRE. ESIS can be implemented within 1-2 days of electrode implantation, while the patient would otherwise be passively awaiting spontaneous seizures. ESIS typically induces habitual seizures with few side effects, and there is no data to suggest that ESIS inhibits spontaneous seizures or prolongs the otherwise clinically-indicated hospital stay. Crucially, published data show that induced seizures provide information about the EZ that is both convergent with and unique from that provided by spontaneous seizures. Despite these promising reports, ESIS is not widely integrated into pediatric DRE evaluation. The overall objective is to improve methods of EZ identification in pediatric DRE patients with complex EZs, thereby increasing the likelihood of surgical candidacy for patients and ultimately improving surgical outcomes. In this protocol, investigators hypothesize that electrical stimulation of induced seizures (ESIS) is an effective adjunct for EZ delineation in children with DRE. To test this, the study will enroll n=86 patients with DRE undergoing sEEG evaluation aged 1-30 years. Based on the CCHMC epilepsy surgery program throughput, it is anticipated that this will include approximately n=36 patients with TSC and n=50 without TSC, which will provide the opportunity to compare the utility of this technique between patients with and without TSC. Patients will undergo ESIS using published Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) parameters with modifications. Gray and white matter contacts will be stimulated systematically. Safety, tolerability, yield, validity and parameter space will be examined.

Contact a Trial Team

If you are interested in learning more about this trial, find the trial site nearest to your location and contact the site coordinator via email or phone. We also strongly recommend that you consult with your healthcare provider about the trials that may interest you and refer to our terms of service below.

Cincinnati, Ohio




Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Cincinnati, Ohio, 45229

Site Contact

Sarah Katie Ihnen, M.D

[email protected]


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