Analysis of the Adherence to Seizure Prophylaxis Guidelines in Neurosurgery Patients

Xueqing Rose Liao, Anna Chiu, Karen Li, Danette Beechinor


Background: In 2000, the American Academy of Neurology guidelines recommended that long-term seizure prophylaxis should not be routine in patients with newly diagnosed brain tumours and that if anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are used, they should be tapered and discontinued after 7 days post-operatively. Recent data shows that most newly diagnosed brain tumour patients continue to receive prophylactic AED.

Aim: This study aimed to examine the seizure prophylaxis practices at Trillium Health Partners – Mississauga Hospital, a regional neurosurgery centrelocated in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

Materials and Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed in adult patients with a newly diagnosed brain tumour who underwent neurosurgery between January 2010 and December 2014.

Results: 690 patient charts were screened and 235 patients were excluded, most commonly due to seizure on admission. Overall, 28% (N=129) of 455 included patients over 5 years received seizure prophylaxis. Phenytoin was the most common prophylactic agent used. The average post-operative length of stay was 7.98 days and the average duration of therapy was 8.73 days. In 61% of patients who received prophylaxis, it was unknown whether the AED was continued in the long-term. The drug cost savings to Trillium over 5 years if patients had not received seizure prophylaxis was $4287.52. The patient characteristics most strongly correlated with receiving seizure prophylaxis were increasing tumour size and decreasing number of tumours.

Conclusion:1 in 3 patients at Trillium received seizure prophylaxis. Increased awareness of the organization's practice patterns may help prevent unnecessary long-term AED use.



Seizure, Prophylaxis, Neurosurgery, Adherence, Guidelines, Anti-epileptic Drugs

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