Clinical predictors of drug-resistant epilepsy in children


Abstract: Background/aim: In up to 20% of epilepsy patients, seizures may not be controlled despite the use of antiepileptic drugs, either alone or in combination. These individuals are considered to have drug-resistant epilepsy. Drug-resistant epilepsy is usually associated with intellectual disability, psychiatric comorbidity, physical injury, sudden unexpected death, and low quality of life. Early detection and prediction of drug-resistant epilepsy are essential in determining the patient's most appropriate treatment option. This retrospective study aimed to determine the clinical, electroencephalographic, and radiological factors associated with medically intractable childhood seizures. Materials and methods: Data regarding 177 patients diagnosed with drug-resistant epilepsy were compared with 281 patients with drug-responsive epilepsy. Results: Univariate analysis showed that age at seizure onset, having mixed seizure types, history of status epilepticus, history of neonatal seizures, history of both having febrile and afebrile seizures, daily seizures at the onset, abnormality on the first electroencephalogram, generalized epileptic abnormality on electroencephalogram, abnormal neurodevelopmental status, abnormal neuroimaging, and having symptomatic etiology were significant risk factors for the development of drug-resistant epilepsy (p < 0.05). In multivariable analysis, having mixed seizure types, history of status epilepticus, having multiple seizures in a day, intellectual disability, symptomatic etiology, and neuroimaging abnormality remained significant predictors for developing drug-resistant epilepsy. Conclusions: In the course of childhood epilepsy, some clinical features may predict the outcome. Early identification of patients with high risk for drug-resistant epilepsy will help plan the appropriate treatment option. Further prospective studies should confirm these findings.

Keywords: Childhood, drug-resistant epilepsy, refractory seizures

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