Factors influencing seizures in adult patients with supratentorial astrocytic tumors

S-L Hwang, C-L Lin, K-S Lee, A-S Lieu, T-H Kuo, C-Z Chang, C-P Yen, C-K Lin, J-K Loh, T-Y Huang, S-L Howng
Acta Neurochirurgica 2004, 146 (6): 589-94: discussion 594
Seizures and epilepsy in adults are important and increasingly common clinical problems. Despite this, the investigation of seizures in adults with astrocytic tumors remains a grey area. The incidence and influencing factors of preoperative and postoperative seizures were evaluated in 101 patients of 45 years or older with supratentorial astrocytic tumors. Preoperative seizures occurred in 14 (14%) patients. Seizures at presentation were significantly correlated with pathological grades of astrocytic tumors (p = 0.0318). The risk of seizures at presentation was greatest in patients with well-differentiated astrocytomas as compared with anaplastic astrocytomas (Odds ratio = 4.364, p = 0.056) or glioblastomas multiforme (Odds ratio = 5.673, p = 0.007). There was no association of preoperative seizures with age, sex, location or site of the tumors. Postoperative seizures occurred in 18 (18%) patients, including 8 (8/14, 57%) recurrent seizures and 10 (10/87, 12%) late-onset seizures. Postoperative seizures were significantly correlated with the presence of preoperative seizures (p = 0.0003). The presence of preoperative seizures was potentially predictive of postoperative seizures when evaluated by logistic regression model (Odds ratio = 6.650). Thirteen (72%) of 18 patients with postoperative seizures were associated with tumor recurrence in 7 cases, hemorrhage in 3 cases and malignant progression in 3 cases. There was no association of postoperative seizures with age, sex, location or site of the tumors, grades of tumors, type of preoperative seizures, duration of preoperative seizures, serum level of anticonvulsant drug, extent of surgery, postoperative radiation or chemotherapy. The patients with preoperative seizures had a higher risk of postoperative seizures and should be carefully monitored. Imaging examination of brain to exclude the possibilities of tumor recurrence or hemorrhage is warrantable in supratentorial astrocytoma patients with postoperative seizures.

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