Objective: We compared clinical characteristics of seizures at ischemic stroke presentation (SSP) to seizures during hospitalization post ischemic stroke (SDH), and their impacts on stroke outcome, using the Registry of the Canadian Stroke Network (RCSN) database.
Methods: This cohort study included consecutive patients from the RCSN who had an acute ischemic stroke between July 2003 and March 2008. Outcome measures included morbidity, mortality, length of hospital stay, and discharge disposition. Clinical variables for either SSP or SDH were investigated and the stroke outcome was stratified by stroke severity.
Results: The study included 10,261 patients with ischemic strokes: 157 patients (1.53%) had SSP and 208 patients (2.03%) had SDH. Compared to stroke patients without seizures, patients with SSP and SDH were younger, had more severe strokes (p < 0.001), a higher admission rate to the intensive care unit (p < 0.001), higher morbidity, and higher mortality (p < 0.05). SSP was associated with female sex and less limb weakness, while SDH was associated with pneumonia and the presence of hemineglect. Importantly, patients with less severe strokes had higher morbidity and mortality (p < 0.005) if SDH occurred. Variables predicting overall mortality were SDH, older age, higher Charlson-Deyo index, more severe strokes, and nonalert status on arrival (all p < 0.001).
Conclusions: SSP and SDH have different characteristics. SDH indicates a poorer prognosis in patients. Increased awareness of SSP and efforts to prevent SDH may be important in improving outcomes following clinical stroke care.