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Early Seizures after Severe Closed Head Injury

     Shih-Tseng Lee, Tai-Ngar Lui, Cheuk-Wah Wong, Yi-Shen Yeh, Wen-Ching Tzaan, Tzu-Yung Chen, Shang-Yu Hung and Chieh-Tsai Wu

Abstract:   Background: We studied the incidence and clinical significance of early post-traumatic seizures after severe closed head injury. Methods: This prospective study is based on clinical observation of 3340 adult patients with severe closed head injuries, each of them having a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) 3 to 8 after trauma. Anticonvulsant agents were not given to these patients unless there was evidence of seizure. Results: One hundred and twenty-one patients (3.6%) experienced seizures within 1 week after head injury; 42 of these (1.26% of the series) had seizures within 24 hours after trauma. The incidence of intracerebral parenchymal damage was found to be higher among those patients who developed seizures in the first week (66.1%) than in those who did not (62.7%). However this result did not reach statistical significance. The patients with early seizures had a lower mortality rate (p < 0.01). In patients who survived from the initial injury, the occurrence of early post-traumatic seizures did not appear to influence the neurological recovery at 6 months after injury. Conclusion: Presence of intracerebral parenchymal damage on CT scan after severe closed head injury does not increase the risk of early post-traumatic seizures. With proper treatment, patients presenting with early seizures may have a lower mortality rate. However, the occurrence of early seizures does not influence the neurological recovery in patients who survive the initial severe closed head injury.

Can. J. Neurol. Sci. 1997; 24: 40-43

 


 
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