Seizure Characteristics in Patients with Seizure Attacks, Visited in Neurology Emergency Unit of Ghaem Hospital (2002-2003)

Document Type : Research Paper




ntroduction:As a common symptom of brain diseases, seizure often indicates severe brain tissue involvement. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the different etiologies of seizure disorders.
Materials and Methods: In this descriptive study, from Marches 2002 to February 2003 497 epileptic patients in Neurology Emergency Unit of Ghaem Hospital, Mashhad were studied. Routine laboratory tests, EEG, and brain CT-Scan was performed for all patients and brain MRI was done for some of them. Demographic data and results of laboratory tests, EEGs and brain CT-Scans were recorded in specific data collection sheets and were analyzed by SPSS software.
Results: In our patients (497 cases), 51.3% were male and the others (48.7%) were female. The mean age of our population was 37.6 years and most of patients were middle aged (35-60 years). The prevalence of different seizures was as follows: Generalized seizures in 82.8%, Focal seizures in 7.5%, and focal seizures with secondary generalization in 9.7%. The prevalence of different etiologies of seizures was: idiopathic and cryptogenic in 48.5%, cerebral vascular diseases in 13.5%, brain tumors (primary or metastatic) in 6.8%, trauma in 6%, acquired metabolic diseases in 6%, drug intoxication or withdrawal in 4.8%, brain infections in 4.6%, developmental disorders in 2.6%, collagen vascular diseases in 2.2%, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in 1.8%, phakomatosis in 0.8%, degenerative disorders in 0.8%, hypertensive encephalopathy in 0.6%, demyelinating diseases in 0.6%, and eclampsia in 0.2%. 65.85 of our patients had a previous history of at least one seizure attack, 25.25 had experienced their first seizure and 9.1% had been admitted because of status epilepticus. 15.3% of patients had positive family history for epilepsy. The most common cause of epilepsy in this study was idiopathic and cryptogenic and cerebral vascular diseases and tumors were the next common causes.
Conclusion: Being so common as a cause of seizure and having significant morbidity and mortality, cerebral vascular diseases and brain tumors should be prevented or treated vigorously. Besides, recurrence of seizure attacks as the result of inappropriate drug intake or insufficient drug dose draws particular concern.