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Stroke. 2004 Jul;35(7):1769-75. Epub 2004 May 27.

Seizures and epilepsy after ischemic stroke.

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  • 1Department of Medicine (Neurology), Center for Clinical Health Policy Research, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.



Although a long-recognized clinical phenomenon, there remain many questions regarding the epidemiology of seizures and epilepsy after ischemic stroke, their effect on outcome, and their treatment.


Interpretation of the various studies that have been conducted of postischemic stroke seizures and epilepsy are complicated by their heterogeneous designs, inconsistent uses of terminology, small sample sizes, different periods of follow-up, and ambiguities in seizure identification and classification. Estimates of the rate of early postischemic stroke seizures range from 2% to 33%. The rates of late seizures vary from 3% to 67%. The rate of postischemic stroke epilepsy is approximately 2% to 4% and is higher in those who have a late seizure. Data reflecting seizure subtypes are limited. Aside from cortical location and, possibly, stroke severity, no other risk factors for postischemic stroke seizures have been consistently demonstrated.


Much additional work is needed to better understand the epidemiology and social impact of postischemic stroke seizures and epilepsy, their prevention, and optimal management.

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