Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Refractory Epilepsy

Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) HTA Report #24.

This report has been produced in response to a request from Alberta Health and Wellness for an update on the use of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) for refractory epilepsy. The intent was to inform health policy makers, medical practitioners, and the public on the current status of the use of VNS for refractory epilepsy in both adults and children and on its use and coverage in Canada. This review is confined to the use of VNS therapy for refractory epilepsy.

This report consists of two main sections. The first section summarizes the findings of the current review of the published literature that has provided evidence on the long-term safety and efficacy/effectiveness of VNS when used for this indication and on the issues related to its use.

The second section presents updated information on the use and coverage of VNS procedure in Canada. This information was obtained by a survey of the provincial/territorial Medical Directors across Health Ministries in Canada conducted to determine the use and provision of VNS therapy in Canada and whether the surgical procedures and devices associated with it were publicly funded/covered. This section also presents information on the commercially available VNS devices and the costs of these devices and of each of their components.


NOTE: In 2006 the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research HTA unit moved to IHE. Documents produced in and prior to 2006 have different formats; the format was determined by the agency for which the document was produced.

Publication Type: Health Technology Assessments /
Systematic Reviews

Year of Publication: 2001

Topics: Therapy

Authors: Paula Corabian, Patricia Leggett Tait

ISBN (print): 1-896956-41-6

ISSN: 1704-1090

ISSN (online): 1704-1104

INAHTA URL: http://www.inahta.org/upload/Briefs_3/02-49 AHFMR - VNS for Refractory Epilepsy.pdf