Predictors of early seizure recurrence in patients admitted for seizures in the Emergency Department

Eur J Emerg Med. 2008 Oct;15(5):261-7. doi: 10.1097/MEJ.0b013e3282fce63d.


Objective: To determine the frequency of early seizure recurrence (ESR) and to evaluate predictors of ESR among patients attending the Emergency Department (ED) for seizure.

Methods: Prospective observational 12-month study in two Paris metropolitan area EDs including all consecutive adult patients presenting after one or more convulsive seizure episodes. Patients were classified into four groups: alcoholism (A), nonalcoholism (nA), new-onset seizure (NO), and past history of seizures (PS). ESR was defined as a seizure recurrence during the first 24 h after admission.

Results: A total of 1025 patients were enrolled. The groups were as follows: A-NO 176 patients (17.2%); A-PS 263 patients (25.6%); nA-NO 170 patients (16.6%); and nA-PS 416 patients (40.6%). Alcohol-related episodes involved 439 patients (42.8) with 346 NO seizures (33.7%). ESR rates were 16.3 and 18.6% at 6 and 24 h. Alcoholism, diagnostic group, age >or=40 years, glucose >or=5 and >or=8.5 mmol/l, and Glasgow Coma Scale <15 were significantly associated with ESR by univariate analysis. Alcoholism {odds ratio (OR): 1.32 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.03-1.67]; P=0.02}, plasma glucose [>5 mmol/l, OR: 1.68 (95% CI: 1.37-2.1), >or=8.5 mmol/l, 2.83 (95% CI: 2.3-3.47), P=0.000001], and Glasgow Coma Scale [<15 OR: 1.9 (95% CI: 1.29-2.78); P=0.001] remained significantly associated on multivariate analysis. We constructed a predictive model from these data. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were 89.1, 27.4, 60.4, and 91.7%, respectively.

Conclusion: ESR is common in the ED setting. Alcohol consumption, capillary glucose, and abnormal neurological examination on arrival at the ED are associated with increased risk of ESR.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / complications*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Female
  • Glasgow Coma Scale*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • ROC Curve
  • Recurrence
  • Seizures / diagnosis*
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose