Revised version of quality guidelines for presurgical epilepsy evaluation and surgical epilepsy therapy issued by the Austrian, German, and Swiss working group on presurgical epilepsy diagnosis and operative epilepsy treatment


The definition of minimal standards remains pivotal as a basis for a high standard of care and as a basis for staff allocation or reimbursement. Only limited publications are available regarding the required staffing or methodologic expertise in epilepsy centers. The executive board of the working group (WG) on presurgical epilepsy diagnosis and operative epilepsy treatment published the first guidelines in 2000 for Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. In 2014, revised guidelines were published and the WG decided to publish an unaltered English translation in this report. Because epilepsy surgery is an elective procedure, quality standards are particularly high. As detailed in the first edition of these guidelines, quality control relates to seven different domains: (1) establishing centers with a sufficient number of sufficiently and specifically trained personnel, (2) minimum technical standards and equipment, (3) continuous medical education of employees, (4) surveillance by trained personnel during video electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring (VEM), (5) systematic acquisition of clinical and outcome data, (6) the minimum number of preoperative evaluations and epilepsy surgery procedures, and (7) the cooperation of epilepsy centers. These standards required the certification of the different professions involved and minimum numbers of procedures. In the subsequent decade, quite a number of colleagues were certified by the trinational WG; therefore, the executive board of the WG decided in 2013 to make these standards obligatory. This revised version is particularly relevant given that the German procedure classification explicitly refers to the guidelines of the WG with regard to noninvasive/invasive preoperative video-EEG monitoring and invasive intraoperative diagnostics in epilepsy.