Does treatment with t-PA increase the risk of developing epilepsy after stroke?

Patients suffering from ischemic stroke carry an enhanced risk of developing secondary epilepsy. We sought to clarify whether thrombolytic treatment with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) is independently associated with post-stroke epilepsy (PSE). In this observational study, data from 302 stroke patients treated at a single academic neurological department were analyzed retrospectively. Median follow-up was 42 months (maximum 80). Variables included presence of comorbidity, stroke severity, neurological presentation, complications, infarct characteristics, and treatment with t-PA. After univariate analyses, a multivariate analysis was performed to create a model of factors that were significantly associated with PSE, including treatment with t-PA. 13.9 % of patients developed PSE during follow-up. Multivariate analysis identified 5 independent factors for PSE: low Barthel Index at discharge; hemianopia; infection acquired during the hospital stay; involvement of the temporal lobe; involvement of the perirolandic cortex. While the incidence of PSE was higher in patients treated with t-PA (20.6 vs. 10.7 %, univariate analysis; p = 0.020), the effect was lost after adjusting for several factors associated with t-PA treatment [odds ratio for PSE after treatment with t-PA 1.3 (95 % CI 0.6–2.9), p = 0.489]. This study failed to identify treatment with t-PA as an independent risk factor for PSE.

via Journal of Neurology – Springer.


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