What is the recurrence rate following first adult seizure and which factors increase risk?

Updated: Nov 30, 2017
  • Author: Eissa Ibrahim AlEissa, MD, MBBS; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Among medically untreated patients in one study, the cumulative 2-year risk of seizure recurrence was 51%. [9] Hauser et al found that variability in the reported risks of seizure recurrence may have been due to the following [11] :

  • Variations in patient populations: Some studies reflect the risk in referral populations; other studies reflect the risk in a more general patient population.

  • Variations in the specificity and sensitivity of case definitions

  • Misclassification of cases: Hauser et al found that 74% of their patient cohort required exclusion because of a previous unprovoked seizure. [26]

  • Variations in time of ascertainment

  • Biases from retrospective study design

  • Confounding effect of anticonvulsant treatment: Many of the previous studies included patients who received anticonvulsant therapy after their first seizure.

See Etiology for risks factors associated with seizure recurrence.

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