Seizure after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

Seizure after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

Epilepsy is a common and serious complication of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), giving rise to increased morbidity and mortality. It’s difficult to identify patients at high risk of epilepsy and the application of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) following SAH is a controversial topic. Therefore, it’s pressingly needed to gain a better understanding of the risk factors, underlying mechanisms, and the optimization of therapeutic strategies for epilepsy after SAH. Neuroinflammation, characterized by microglial activation and the release of inflammatory cytokines has drawn growing attention due to its influence on patients with epilepsy after SAH. In a review, Wang et al. discussed the risk factors for epilepsy after SAH and emphasize the critical role of microglia. Then they discussed how various molecules arising from pathophysiological changes after SAH activates specific receptors such as TLR4NLRP3RAGEP2X7R and initiate the downstream inflammatory pathways. Additionally, they focused on the significant responses implicated in epilepsy including neuronal excitotoxicity, the disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and the change of immune responses. As the application of AEDs for seizure prophylaxis after SAH remains controversial, the regulation of neuroinflammation targeting the key pathological molecules could be a promising therapeutic method. While neuroinflammation appears to contribute to epilepsy after SAH, more comprehensive experiments on their relationships are needed 1).

Literature has reported seizure rates to be as high as 27% in this population 2).

More recently published studies have found seizure rates to be significantly lower than previously described (1–10%) 3) 4).

Seizure activity has been associated with secondary neurologic injury including reduced cerebral blood flow and intracranial hypertension 5).

see Anticonvulsant in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.


Wang J, Liang J, Deng J, Liang X, Wang K, Wang H, Qian D, Long H, Yang K, Qi S. Emerging Role of Microglia-Mediated Neuroinflammation in Epilepsy after Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. Mol Neurobiol. 2021 Jan 26. doi: 10.1007/s12035-021-02288-y. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33501625.

Lin YJ, Chang WN, Chang HW, Ho JT, Lee TC, Wang HC, Tsai NW, Tsai MH, Lu CH. Risk factors and outcome of seizures after spontaneous aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Eur J Neurol. 2008 May;15(5):451-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2008.02096.x. Epub 2008 Mar 5. PubMed PMID: 18325027.

Rosengart AJ, Huo JD, Tolentino J, Novakovic RL, Frank JI, Goldenberg FD, Macdonald RL. Outcome in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage treated with antiepileptic drugs. J Neurosurg. 2007 Aug;107(2):253-60. PubMed PMID: 17695377.

Chumnanvej S, Dunn IF, Kim DH. Three-day phenytoin prophylaxis is adequate after subarachnoid hemorrhage. Neurosurgery. 2007 Jan;60(1):99-102; discussion 102-3. PubMed PMID: 17228257.

Rhoney DH, Tipps LB, Murry KR, Basham MC, Michael DB, Coplin WM. Anticonvulsant prophylaxis and timing of seizures after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Neurology. 2000 Jul 25;55(2):258-65. PubMed PMID: 10908901.

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