Effect of Newer Generation Anticonvulsant Prophylaxis on Seizure Incidence After Spontaneous Intracerebral Hemorrhage

Carlton Christie, Lekhaj Daggubati, Neel Patel, Nicole Matthews, Erik B. Lehman, Kevin M. Cockroft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: The role of prophylactic antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in preventing seizures and/or improving the outcomes after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) has remained controversial. The current guidelines have recommended against AED prophylaxis. However, these recommendations were based on older studies that had primarily used phenytoin as the AED of choice. Newer medications, such as levetiracetam, have yet to be extensively studied. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of patients with ICH from 2010 to 2015. The patient demographic data, seizure data, and outcomes were collected. The results were analyzed using descriptive statistics, binary logistic regression, and quantile regression. The primary outcome was seizure incidence. Results: A total of 360 patients with a median age of 70 years had met the inclusion criteria. Of the 360 patients, 30 (8.3%) had had recorded seizure events, 54% were men, and 81% had a history of hypertension. The median admission National Institutes of Health stroke scale (NIHSS) score was 7 (interquartile range [IQR], 14), and the median discharge NIHSS score was 5.0 (IQR, 13). The median hematoma size was 7.1 mL (IQR, 13 mL), and 143 patients (40%) had had cortical involvement. Of the 360 patients, 273 (76%) had received prophylaxis and 87 (24%) had not. After adjustment for the admission NIHSS and the presence of cortical involvement, the rate of new seizure events after ICH remained significantly lower for the patients who had received AED prophylaxis (adjusted odds ratio, 0.28; 95% confidence interval, 0.11–0.71; P = 0.008). Conclusion: The administration of, predominantly, levetiracetam for AED prophylaxis after ICH reduced the odds of new seizure events, independently of the admission NIHSS score and the presence of cortical involvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e461-e465
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Sep 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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