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Br J Neurosurg. 2011 Apr;25(2):253-60. doi: 10.3109/02688697.2010.522741. Epub 2010 Dec 15.

Neurologist vs the neurosurgeons: who is the NICEst? The medical management of the neurosurgical patient with seizures.

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Faculty of Medicine, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, UK.


Seizures and epilepsy are a relatively common occurrence in the neurosurgical patient. Neurosurgeons are often involved in the medical management utilising anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). There is a distinct lack of contemporary literature in relation to management of seizures/epilepsy in the neurosurgical patient, in particular, for the newer AEDs. In the UK, clinical practice guidelines have been issued from both the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) in relation to epilepsy in primary and secondary care. We sought to determine current management practice for neurosurgical patients with epilepsy/seizures. The relevance of the issued guidelines was examined within the neurosurgical setting. An audit by telephone survey was conducted in Neurosurgical and Neurology units in the UK. Respondents were asked about the management of patients in two clinical scenarios. We received 25 responses from the neurosurgical and 22 responses from the neurology communities. Management of the patient scenarios is described and is further considered in relation to the published guidelines. There was considerable disparity between the guidelines and the management strategies pursued by both groups. We conclude that the standard of treatment is sub-optimal in many cases. The guidelines have not had a significant influence and are not felt to be strictly relevant within the neurosurgical setting. The development of guidelines relevant to the neurosurgical setting is proposed. Further research within this field and investment in education for neurosurgeons relating to AED therapy is advocated. The neurologists responses were more closely aligned to the guidelines and so they were deemed the 'NICEst'.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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