Seizures in acute stroke: incidence, risk factors and prognosis

Neuroepidemiology. 2012;39(1):45-50. doi: 10.1159/000338374. Epub 2012 Jul 5.


Background and purpose: Studies on post-stroke seizures have produced conflicting results. Our study aim was to further elucidate the incidence and predictive factors of early post-stroke seizures (ES) and their relationship with outcome.

Methods: relevant clinical data were prospectively collected in 2,053 patients with acute stroke admitted to the Stroke Unit from 2004 to 2008.

Results: Sixty-six patients (8 hemorrhagic and 58 ischemic strokes) aged 73-88 years (mean age 82 years) presented seizures in the first week after stroke onset. The type of ischemic stroke was atherothrombotic in 10 patients, cardioembolic in 21, lacunar in 4, undetermined in 19, and of other etiology in 4. Twenty-seven patients had generalized convulsive, 6 had complex partial, and 33 had simple partial seizures. Status epilepticus was observed in 13 patients. The severity of strokes in patients with ES was greater than in those without (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale >14 in 50 vs. 25%), so mortality (30 days) was higher (29 vs. 14%). Independent seizure predictors were: total anterior circulation infarct, hemorrhagic transformation, hyperglycemia, and the interaction term diabetes × hyperglycemia.

Conclusions: ES may be considered a marker of stroke severity. Cortical location of the lesion, hemorrhagic transformation, and hyperglycemia in patients without diabetes are important predictors of ES.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Infarction / epidemiology
  • Brain Ischemia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / epidemiology
  • Incidence
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Seizures / epidemiology*
  • Seizures / etiology
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke / epidemiology*