Background: Neuromodulatory applications such as vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) and responsive neurostimulation (RNS) are safe and effective strategies for medically intractable epilepsy secondary to complex partial seizures, but researchers have yet to compare their efficacies. Objective: The goal of this study is to compare VNS and RNS efficacy at reducing seizure frequency and complication rates in subjects with medically intractable epilepsy secondary to complex partial seizures. Methods: This is a retrospective chart review of 30 patients with medically intractable complex partial epilepsy, who underwent either VNS or RNS placement at a single institution between June 2012 and January 2016. There was a mean follow-up of 19 months. Seizure frequency reduction and complications were identified. Results: The median seizure frequency reduction was similar for VNS (66%) and RNS (58%). There was no major morbidity or mortality, and the frequency of minor complications was similar between VNS (15%) and RNS (18%). Conclusion: We found that VNS and RNS reduced the median seizure frequency similarly with no difference in morbidity or mortality. Further prospective studies are warranted as VNS and RNS therapy improves over time.

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