The Prevalence of Seizures in Brain Metastasis Patients on Anticonvulsant Prophylaxis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Nazanin Kermanshahi, Nima Hamidi, Jake Weisberg, Usman Beg, Michael Dabrowski, Varun Padmanaban, Jeannette Betz, Alireza Mansouri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Brain metastasis (BM) prognosis is incredibly poor and is often associated with considerable morbidity. Seizures are commonly present in these patients, and their biopsychosocial impact can be dangerous. The use of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) as primary prophylaxis remains controversial. This systematic review and meta-analysis aim to evaluate the efficacy of AED prophylaxis in patients with BM. Methods: MEDLINE via PubMed, Web of Science, EMBASE, and Cochrane were searched for articles pertinent to AED prophylaxis use in patients with BM. Patients with BM previously treated for cancer who were seizure naive at the time of inclusion were included. Data regarding patient characteristics, type of AED, prior treatments, and groups at a high risk of seizure were extracted. Seizure prevalence was obtained. Results: Eight studies were included in this systematic review and meta-analysis; 1902 total patients with BM were included, with 381 receiving antiepileptic prophylaxis, and 1521 receiving no prophylaxis. Although the odds of a seizure in the treatment group was found to be 1.158 times the odds of a seizure in the control group, the odds ratio was not statistically significant (t-statistic = 0.62, P value = 0.5543). Conclusions: There was no significant difference in the odds of seizure development in control groups compared to patients receiving prophylactic antiepileptic therapy. As patients with BM present with heterogeneity in tumor characteristics and receive various treatment modalities, future research is needed to identify groups that may benefit more significantly from AED prophylaxis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e613-e624
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Mar 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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