The long-term prognosis and predictors of epilepsy: a retrospective study in 820 patients

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Abstract

Background: To investigate the prognosis and predictors for seizure control in epileptic patients in China. Methods: Eight hundred and twenty patients with epilepsy who visited Xuanwu Hospital from October 2017 to January 2020, were enrolled. The clinical information of the patients was obtained by retrospectively reviewing medical records. Prognostic measures of seizure control included remission, relapse and occurrence of drug resistance. The relationship of prognosis of seizure control with factors such as demographics, clinical characteristics and initial electroencephalography (EEG) features was investigated. Results: A total of 503 (61.3%) patients experienced a 1-year remission and 330 (49.3% of 669) had a 2-year remission. Idiopathic type of epilepsy (P < 0.001), normal EEG (P < 0.05), number of antiepileptic drugs (P < 0.05) and seizure frequency of < 1 /month (P < 0.001) at the first arrival predicted a remission independently. Of the 503 patients who achieved a 1-year remission, 184 (36.6%) experienced a relapse, due to external reversible causes (58 patients) or with unknown reversible triggers (126 patients). No factors were found to be associated with a relapse (P > 0.05). At the end of the study, 322 patients (39.3%) developed drug resistance. The development of drug resistance was associated with the following factors: symptomatic aetiology of epilepsy, epileptiform abnormality in EEG, number of antiepileptic drugs and seizure frequency of ≥1 /month at first arrival (P < 0.001). For symptomatic epilepsy, patients with meningitis/encephalitis (P = 0.007) were more likely to develop drug-resistant epilepsy than these with other causes. Conclusions: Remission is a common process. The type of epilepsy (idiopathic or symptomatic), EEG features, seizure frequency and treatment history at first arrival are related to both remission and terminal drug resistance. Among various causes of symptomatic epilepsy, meningitis/encephalitis is associated with the worst prognosis of epilepsy.

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Yang, H., Zhang, J., Yang, C., Wu, D., Liu, X., Lu, H., … Sun, W. (2021). The long-term prognosis and predictors of epilepsy: a retrospective study in 820 patients. Acta Epileptologica, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s42494-021-00060-2

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