Vagus nerve stimulation therapy in people with drug-resistant epilepsy (CORE-VNS): rationale and design of a real-world post-market comprehensive outcomes registry
Sen A., Verner R., Valeriano JP., Lee R., Zafar M., Thomas R., Kotulska K., Jespers E., Dibué M., Kwan P.
IntroductionThe Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy System (VNS Therapy) is an adjunctive neuromodulatory therapy that can be efficacious in reducing the frequency and severity of seizures in people with drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE). CORE-VNS aims to examine the long-term safety and clinical outcomes of VNS in people with DRE.Methods and analysisThe CORE-VNS study is an international, multicentre, prospective, observational, all-comers, post-market registry. People with DRE receiving VNS Therapy for the first time as well as people being reimplanted with VNS Therapy are eligible. Participants have a baseline visit (prior to device implant). They will be followed for a minimum of 36 months and a maximum of 60 months after implant. Analysis endpoints include seizure frequency (average number of events per month), seizure severity (individual-rated categorical outcome including very mild, mild, moderate, severe or very severe) as well as non-seizure outcomes such as adverse events, use of antiseizure medications, use of other non-pharmacological therapies, quality of life, validated measures of quality of sleep (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index or Children’s Sleep Habit Questionnaire) and healthcare resource utilisation. While the CORE-VNS registry was not expressly designed to test hypotheses, subgroup analyses and exploratory analysis that require hypothesis testing will be conducted across propensity score matched treatment groups, where possible based on sampling.Ethics and disseminationThe CORE-VNS registry has already enrolled 823 participants from 61 centres across 15 countries. Once complete, CORE-VNS will represent one of the largest real-world clinical data sets to allow a more comprehensive understanding of the management of DRE with adjunctive VNS. Manuscripts derived from this database will shed important new light on the characteristics of people receiving VNS Therapy; the practical use of VNS across different countries, and factors influencing long-term response.Trail registration numberNCT03529045.