Prevalence and prognostic significance of epilepsy in patients with gliomas

Eur J Cancer. 1998 Jan;34(1):98-102. doi: 10.1016/s0959-8049(97)00374-2.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and prognostic significance of epilepsy in 1028 patients diagnosed in the computer tomography (CT) era with histological low- or high-grade intracranial gliomas. Survival analysis included Kaplan-Meier plots, log-rank tests, logistic regression and Cox's analysis as implemented in the SPSS statistical package. Epilepsy was a positive univariate (P < 0.0001) and multivariate, (P < 0.03) prognostic factor for survival in the total patient group (n = 1028, relative risk of death 0.83, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.70-0.98) as well as in the high-grade patient group (n = 649, relative risk of death 0.80, 95% CI 0.66-0.96), but not in the group of low-grade glioma patients (P > 0.2). The prevalence of epilepsy in glioblastoma patients was 251/512 (49%), 95/137 (69%) in anaplastic gliomas, and 322/379 (85%) in patients with low-grade gliomas, with 97 of the 102 T1 low-grade subgroup (95%) having epilepsy, indicating that the presence of epilepsy may select patients for early radiological diagnosis. The frequency of epilepsy at presentation decreased with age in high-grade glioma patients, and increased with age in low-grade glioma patients to a plateau in the fourth decade of life (P < 0.01). The prevalence of epilepsy in patients with histological intracranial gliomas varied with patient age and tumour histology, with low-grade patients having the highest prevalence. Epilepsy was a significant positive prognostic factor except in patients with low-grade gliomas, and may select low-grade patients for early diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Neoplasms / complications*
  • Brain Neoplasms / mortality
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epilepsy / epidemiology
  • Epilepsy / etiology*
  • Epilepsy / mortality
  • Epilepsy / pathology
  • Glioma / complications*
  • Glioma / mortality
  • Glioma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Analysis
  • Survival Rate